On Friday, May 13, Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced the recipients of the 2016 Read to be Ready Summer Grant.
Earlier this year, in conjunction with the launch of the statewide Read to be Ready Campaign, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation gave a $1 million gift to the department to award for summer reading programs during the next three years. This spring, the department received more than 200 proposals and has selected 12 summer programs from across the state to receive funding, a press release said.
“With less than half of the state’s third-graders currently reading on grade level, we must approach reading in new and innovative ways,” McQueen said in the press release. “Read to be Ready summer grants will support individual communities as they tailor their approach to reading to meet the needs of the families they serve.”
Read to be Ready is a coordinated approach to move third-grade reading proficiency in Tennessee to 75 percent by 2025. The campaign seeks to raise awareness about the importance of reading, unite efforts to address the reading gap, highlight best practices, and build partnerships. Read to be Ready summer grants are designed to support students even after the last day of school, the press release said.
The awarded program recipients’ region, district, and director of the program are below:
- Northwest Region—Humboldt City Schools, Kristin Hardin
- Southwest Region—Lauderdale County, Jennifer Jordan
- Southwest Region—Jackson-Madison School System, Kristen Peachey
- Mid Cumberland Region—Metro Nashville Public Schools, Jeanne Fain
- Mid Cumberland Region—Robertson County, Jennifer Cox
- South Central Region—Giles County, Tina Smith
- Upper Cumberland Region—Cannon County, MaryBeth Young and Melisha Simmons
- Southeast Region—Polk County, Amy McAbee
- Southeast Region—McMinn County, Penny Davis
- East Region—Lenoir City Schools, Wendy Jones
- East Region—Oak Ridge City Schools, Amelia Bell and Gwen Harrell
- First Tennessee Region—Hawkins County, Carrie Smith and Jennifer Cassell
“Summer reading loss can be devastating to progress made during the academic school year,” the press release said. “We are grateful to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation for partnering with us on this project. It is an important strategy for improving overall reading proficiency in Tennessee.”
More information will be added as it becomes available.
This press release was submitted by Holly Cross of Oak Ridge Schools.