In 1995, Love Helps, inc. was founded by Nashville, Tennessee architect, Dean Baker with a local board of directors and advisory council overseeing its work. The vision for Love Helps, inc., was simple: help children become good citizens by loving them, spending time with them and teaching them.
Love Helps, inc., was established to encourage and educate students about the importance of positive character and personal responsibility which then would become the catalyst for future good decision making and responsible behavior in all areas.
Love Helps, inc., first developed and used an in-class presentation called "You are Special" to promote self-esteem and respect for others and conducted in-school teaching sessions with more than 3,000 students in 30 Nashville area schools in 1995. This became the first of several presentations now part of the Character Education LIVE! program where students in grades 1-12 participate in short, in-class sessions which educate students about important topics such as, handling emotions, self-esteem, mutual respect, responsible decision making and effective teamwork. More than 15,000 students have now participated in these teaching sessions.
After much school and community input, Love Helps, inc., started three other in-school programs in 1996 to promote responsible behavior. The LEADING by READING program was initiated to promote literacy and to weekly bring community role model volunteers into pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, public school classrooms to read children's stories on character building themes. Since 1996, more than 9,000 books have been read to young students!
Also in 1996, the Triple "A" Achiever Awards program was developed to recognize large numbers of average and high achieving students who were doing well in school in the areas of Academics, Attendance and Attitude. Through this program students receive both award certificates and personal letters from community volunteers each grading period for good progress in school. More than 416,000 awards/letters have now been distributed in Metro Nashville Public Schools.
Again in 1996, our TOOLS for SCHOOLS program was launched to help provide teachers with inexpensive materials to encourage positive behavior and discipline in their classrooms. These materials were designed by Love Helps, inc., with teacher input to efficiently assist teachers with daily communication needs. Since 1996, thousands of dollars worth of helpful materials have been requested and distributed to teachers in 120+ Nashville area schools. To date, the work of Love Helps, inc., has been primarily focused in Nashville's Public Schools. In 1999, the TOOLS for SCHOOLS program was first introduced in the Tennessee counties surrounding Nashville.
The work of Love Helps, inc., has been financially supported by a growing list of Nashville area contributors, including The Memorial Foundation, Inman Associates, and The HCA Foundation, as well as, a growing list of other caring businesses and individuals. The organization is still overseen by a local board of directors and advisory council with Dean Baker serving as the Executive Director. Since 1995, more than 1,600 community volunteers have participated with Love Helps, inc., in conducting its programs in dozens of Nashville area schools helping teach and encourage thousands of students annually.