2 in 3 Nashville third-graders are not reading on grade level.

A challenge Nashville has wrestled with for more than two decades.

Why third-grade reading matters:


When a child misses this early milestone, their chances of success are dramatically curtailed



1 in 6 drop out of high school without a diploma

They earn half the annual income of their peers

They have higher incidences of arrest or incarceration


The chance of catching them up when they miss this milestone is very limited. Consequently, these students face a cascading number of other personal and social challenges that travel with them their entire lives.

Creating the Blueprint


We knew there was great work being done in the city and across the nation. Our goal was to unify those efforts and best practices into a cohesive and actionable plan for Nashville.

 
  • Connector.Connector.

    Convened a 22-member working group

  • Connector.Connector.

    Simultaneously, Mayor’s Childhood Education Working Group focused on how to improve pre-K

  • Connector.Connector.

    We challenged ourselves to think bigger, dig deeper, and come up with a plan to accelerate action

 
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hours of research
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community leaders’ input
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national experts’ best practices

From this, the NLC developed a strategic plan to
double the number of third-graders reading on level by 2025.


What literacy means for Nashville


Literacy begins at birth



How is this different?


  • Connector.

    For the first time, the city is coming together under a shared framework and outcome to end a social injustice that has persisted for more than two decades.

  • Connector.

    These recommendations have the full support and commitment of the group to ensure they do not sit on a bookshelf collecting dust. We will publicly report on progress annually, creating a mechanism for an honest public dialogue about what’s working and what’s not.

  • Connector.

    While many conversations about literacy start and end with K-12 solutions, this report acknowledges the problem is a community challenge. With this comprehensive, birth-through-3rd grade plan, Nashville joins a small group of cities in the country who have adopted a true community literacy approach.



Get Involved!




  • Connector.

    Angie Adams

    PENCIL Foundation

  • Connector.

    Elyse Adler

    Nashville Public Library

  • Connector.

    Harry Allen

    Studio Bank and former Chamber Education Report Card Co-Chairman

  • Connector.

    Shawn Bakker

    Nashville Public Library Foundation

  • Connector.

    Dr. Adriana Bialostozky

    Local pediatrician with Vanderbilt Hospital

  • Connector.

    Carolyn Cobbs

    Cumberland Elementary School

  • Connector.

    Dr. Monique Felder

    Metro Nashville Public Schools

  • Connector.

    Rae Finnie

    Granberry Elementary School

  • Connector.

    Marc Hill

    Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce

  • Connector.

    Tari Hughes

    Center for Nonprofit Management

  • Connector.

    Shannon Hunt

    Nashville Public Education Foundation

  • Connector.

    Melissa Jaggers

    Alignment Nashville

  • Connector.

    Erica Mitchell

    United Way of Metropolitan Nashville

  • Connector.

    Laura Moore

    Mayor Barry’s Office

  • Connector.

    Kent Oliver

    Nashville Public Library

  • Connector.

    Tara Scarlett

    Scarlett Family Foundation

  • Connector.

    Renata Soto

    Conexión Américas

  • Connector.

    Melissa Spradlin

    Book ‘Em Nashville

  • Connector.

    Denine Torr

    Dollar General Literacy Foundation

  • Connector.

    Whitney Weeks

    Whitney Works Consulting