The only time I saw white people…

I’m a native of Nashville. In fact, there aren’t many folks as Nashville as I am.  And, I live in the house near Tennessee State University in which I was raised. When I was a little girl, the only place I saw white people was down town, except for the insurance man who came to the house to collect the payments. Going downtown to shop for Easter was one of the highlights of the year.  My mother and I would go to Cain Sloan, at 5th and Church near what we now know as the Main Public … [Read more...]

Tips to Help Kids Respect and Accept Diversity

KOB, Kids on the Block, STARS, puppets

Tips To Help Kids Respect and Accept Diversity Teaching kids to respect and accept diversity can be a challenge. Our Kids on the Block program has made it one of our top priorities and we have become experts at it! Through the art of puppetry, our educational specialists are able to connect with audiences about important, and sometimes difficult, topics. We understand that not everyone will have the opportunity to benefit from our program, which is why Salimah is here with some helpful … [Read more...]

Importance of Art for our Youth

YODA, art therapy, youth overcoming drug abuse

Importance of Art for Our Youth Let’s face it. Three hours of talk therapy is a long haul for anybody. And teens…well, you get the picture. If it had one, the motto for YODA Intensive Outpatient counselors would be, “Meet them where they’re at.” Therefor if a youth doesn’t particularly respond to a certain treatment modality, we find one he or she does respond to. Like art therapy. Through a partnership with OASIS, led by the talented and patient Abby Whisenhunt, the YODA clients have … [Read more...]

Distinguishing Between Bullying and Discriminatory Harassment

McGrath Training, McGrath, STARS, Rodger Dinwiddie, civil rights

In 1999, there were exactly 0 (zero) state laws in the United States dealing with bullying. Post Columbine, state legislatures began to develop laws and school districts began to implement polices to address the issue of bullying that was now on the public’s radar screen. Now, 16 years later, there are 49 states with laws; all but Montana have anti-bullying laws. More than half of these laws also address cyberbullying. For the last 7 years the Tennessee Department of Education through the … [Read more...]

Why Do I Think Art Is Important

Andee Rudloff

Why do I think art is important in the lives of our youth? I truly believe art creates points of connection. I’m talking about creative choices leading to experiences and relationships. As a kid, you have the ability to absorb so much in the right environment. As you grow, your mind wanders to so many other things but if you have developed your creative side, that part of your brain will always comfort you. Colors, textures, mark-making and molding shapes help to communicate your senses in … [Read more...]

What We Can Do – Eating Disorders Awareness

eating disorders awareness, eating disorders

By age 6, the majority of girls start to express concerns about their weight or shape. Between forty and sixty percent of elementary girls are concerned about their weight or becoming too fat. This anxiety carries into their adult lives, and can manifest into an eating disorder (NEDA). What We Know About Eating Disorders The potential cause of eating disorders is complex, and occur for a variety of reasons and conditions. Once started, they can create a self-perpetuating cycle of physical and … [Read more...]

The Need for Restorative Practices in Schools

STARS, STARS Nashville,

Now that you have an idea of the field of Restorative Practices (if you missed last week’s post, before you continue reading, check it out first), we can discuss why it is important for schools to start looking at different disciplinary practices and switch to healthier methodologies to repair relationships. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) conducted a Civil Rights Data Collection to determine whether students of certain racial or ethnic groups were disciplined differently than their peers. … [Read more...]

Defining Restorative Practice and Restorative Justice

Our new SAP counselors being trained in Restorative Practices by Sandy Schmahl

Since 2000, our STARS staff have worked with a more restorative approach to the issue of conflict resolution and discipline by utilizing Restorative Practices.  Last year, the entire STARS staff was trained by the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) in Restorative Practices, with seven of our staff members now certified as trainers in Restorative Justice. Recently, Metro Nashville Public Schools, was awarded the Project Prevent Grant by the US Department of Education. … [Read more...]

Growing through Generosity

Check Presentation

Julie Albee (STARS Counselor), along with a few teachers coordinated a fundraiser last month for a former FHS student, Ify Nonyelu. Ify was involved in a accident that left him paralyzed. Here is a Ify's story--- Ify Nonyelu: Growing through Generosity It began with a story we had heard from a local news channel about former Franklin High School student and basketball player Ify Nonyelu. In 2007, as Ify was about to enter his senior year at FHS he had driven his cousin to work one … [Read more...]

Rock Random Acts of Kindness Week – #STARSRAK

random acts of kindness week,

Rock Random Acts of Kindness Week Hey, you rock! Monday, February 9th is the opening day of Random Acts of Kindness season! Established in 1995, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, inspires people to practice kindness and to pass it on to others. They are dedicated to providing resources and tools to encourage acts of kindness worldwide. This week is a great way for you to take a moment and step out of your normal routine (or comfort zone) and task yourself with doing a random act … [Read more...]


STARS welcomes and will serve individuals with both mental health and substance use disorders. We believe that every door is the right door to gain access to appropriate services in the integrated system of care.

STARS does not discriminate on the grounds of race, religion, creed, color, sex or national origin. No one shall be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any of STARS programs or activities. STARS is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
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