At Willow Elementary School in Homewood, first-grade teacher Nathalie Mingo greets her students each morning with, "Jambo Brianna!" which means, "Morning, friend!" so that they get an understanding of other cultures and recognize that she considers them as more than students. She exposes students to art, dance and music, and motivates them by demonstrating that learning is fun. Ms. Mingo uses and teaches colleagues about the Four Blocks literacy methodology, centered upon developing the language arts abilities of primary students through consistent and engaging activities. The method encourages the use of manipulatives and taps into the creative energies of students. Ms. Mingo co-sponsors "The Write Group," in which second-grade students compose and edit each other's writing. She also established the first Willow Reading Nights as well as an after-school reading program for students and parents.