Gov. Lee Spotlights Literacy Efforts in Tennessee Schools

Gov. Lee celebrates literacy with school visits and new funding.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Governor Bill Lee marked the start of Read Across America Week and proclaimed March as Literacy Month in Tennessee, underscoring his administration’s dedication to enhancing literacy rates and equipping young Tennesseans for academic success. In partnership with the Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation and the Cheatham County School District, Gov. Lee visited Pleasant View Elementary School, where he engaged with students and distributed books, highlighting the importance of early reading initiatives.

During his visit, Gov. Lee emphasized the significant strides Tennessee has made in K-3 literacy, attributing the state’s leading position in reading proficiency gains to its robust literacy strategies. “Tennessee students are leading the nation in reading proficiency gains thanks to our state’s strong K-3rd grade literacy strategy, and in the month of March, we’re recognizing our continued commitment to literacy,” Gov. Lee stated. He expressed his gratitude towards the Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation for its pivotal role in nurturing a passion for reading among Tennessee’s youngest learners.

The governor’s Fiscal Year 2024-25 budget proposal includes an allocation of over $33 million in state funding to sustain and expand K-3 literacy initiatives. This funding aims to provide diverse pathways for students to become proficient readers, building on the administration’s efforts to improve K-12 literacy and mitigate learning losses. The initiatives have received wide bipartisan support and focus on phonics-based instruction, ensuring that more teachers are equipped to help students struggling with reading.

Tennessee’s literacy programs, such as Reading 360 and the Tennessee Accelerated Literacy and Learning (ALL) Corps, offer comprehensive support to young learners. These include optional grants for districts, free tutoring, summer camps, and regular reading assessments. These initiatives have contributed to significant academic recovery and the establishment of the nation’s largest permanent summer school and tutoring programs.

Gov. Lee also highlighted Tennessee’s leadership in prioritizing in-person learning, noting that the state was among the first to reopen schools for in-person instruction following the 2020 closures. This move has played a crucial role in facilitating the academic recovery and literacy gains observed across the state.

As Tennessee celebrates Literacy Month, Gov. Lee’s visit to Pleasant View Elementary School and the continued investment in literacy programs underscore the state’s commitment to ensuring that every child has the opportunity to become a proficient reader, laying the foundation for lifelong learning and success.

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