Tennessee Department of Education Selects Districts for Literacy Networks

On Monday, The Tennessee Department Of Education Announced The 48 Districts They Selected To Partake In The New Literacy Implementation Network. The Network Is Part Of The State’s Reading 360 Initiative, Put In Place To Improve The Reading Skills Of K-12 Students Across The State. 

Tennessee Capitol Building in Nashville

Photo: On Friday last week, Commissioner Schwinn visited the Alvin C. York Institute and Allardt Elementary in Fentress County, Tennessee.

Photo Credit: Tennessee Department of Education / Facebook

Published March 9, 2021

The Tennessee Conservative staff –

The initiative will consist of eight different networks, comprised of the 48 selected districts. These networks will receive the instructional materials needed over the next five years.

Commissioner Penny Schwinn said, “Over the next five years, the regional Pre-K–12 Literacy Implementation Networks will foster opportunity for districts to learn from each other and to form unique partnerships to support high-quality literacy instruction to build strong readers, which ultimately promotes success for our students and our state.”

Each network will have a mentor district to oversee the 4-6 participating districts in their network, as well as a selected vendor partner. They will also have the option to focus at the elementary, middle, or high school level. The partnerships are put in place to make sure teachers have all materials and resources they need.

The TDOE website lays out each mentor district, along with the participating districts that make up their network. Mentor districts include Haywood County, Lauderdale County, Summer County, Trousdale County, Putnam County, Lenoir City Schools, Marshall County, and Unicoi County.

The Supervisor of Instructional Services at Lenoir City Schools, Millicent Smith said, “Lenoir City Schools is thrilled to be able to join the PK–12 Literacy Implementation networks to collaborate around the important work of supporting high-quality literacy instruction. We are excited to share lessons we have learned and look forward with anticipation to additional training and learning to support our continuous improvement!”

The grant opportunity for the networks requires a five-year commitment and data sharing.

“Ensuring every child is reading on grade-level or better is the most important job of our public schools. I am delighted Sumner County Schools will help provide a successful framework for literacy that will benefit many other students on their educational journey,” said Majority Leader William Lamberth.

State Representative Johnny Garrett also spoke out about Sumner County, saying, “I’m very proud Sumner County Schools has been recognized for the excellent work they are doing to give students a strong foundation in literacy. I congratulate our teachers and students for their combined efforts and achievements.”

Representative Terri Lynne Weaver of Trousdale County Schools said, “Readers are leaders and leaders are readers. I commend our district for their outstanding literacy instruction in our community. I am confident Trousdale County Schools will do their part to help improve student literacy across the state.”

The Reading 360 initiative was implemented as a way to help students across Tennessee develop phonics-based reading skills. The literacy networks plan to do this by providing support to districts, teachers, and families. The initiative comes as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the hit that education took during that time.

While participating in the program was optional, districts had to fill out an application, and specify if they hoped to act as a participant or mentor.

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