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.
What literacy means for Nashville
Literacy begins at birth
Maximizing Every Moment in Education
How is this different?
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.
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.
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.
Blueprint Progress Updates
There is a massive, citywide movement underway to double the number of third-graders who read proficiently. Since the release of the Blueprint nearly a year ago, significant progress has been made and momentum continues to build as community and business leaders join forces in support of early childhood literacy.
Established Blueprint Steering Committee to ensure a multi-agency, collective effort to improve literacy efforts from birth through third grade. The Steering Committee will ensure recommendations are implemented with fidelity and process is reported transparently transparently to the public.
Designed and launching pilots in six schools in fall 2018 to learn what can be scaled to improve literacy efforts at the school level, including: new and expanded family and community engagement, curriculum and instructional supports, and initiatives to combat chronic absence.
Launched the Jump In campaign to increase public awareness on early childhood literacy. This includes the launch of JumpInNashville.com, an online portal that provides reading tips, games, and resources to encourage literacy-building skills at home and on the go.
Recruited 180+ grassroots Jump In partners, including local churches, retailers, restaurants, barber shops/beauty salons, child care facilities, and more. All of these partners are committed to improving access to books in low-income neighborhoods and helping to raise awareness about early literacy citywide.
Launched an expanded Summer Reading Challenge to combat summer reading slide, including a deep partnership between the Nashville Public Library and Metro Nashville Public Schools to elevate the focus around summer reading and make it easy and fun for kids, families, schools and others to participate.
Piloted an elevated partnership with summer camp providers to improve literacy programming and resources.
Strengthened access to Read To Be Ready Camps and other summer academic opportunities for high-needs students.
Launched Classroom Library Fund to address book access in high-needs classrooms. So far, over 52,00 books have been distributed to more than 200 classrooms.
Launching a Spark Grant in fall 2018 to seed innovative community ideas to address issues like chronic absenteeism, family literacy supports and birth-to-5 pre-literacy initiatives, with the goal of helping nonprofits innovate in the areas the Blueprint highlights as needing greater community attention and focus.
Secured 75 percent of funding necessary to implement Phase I.
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.
Convened a 22-member working group
Simultaneously, Mayor’s Childhood Education Working Group focused on how to improve pre-K
We challenged ourselves to think bigger, dig deeper, and come up with a plan to accelerate action
From this, the NLC developed a strategic plan to
double the number of third-graders reading on level by 2025.
Download the Report
Download the Appendices
The Steering Committee
Nashville Public Library
Studio Bank and former Chamber Education Report Card Co-Chairman
Nashville Public Library Foundation
Local pediatrician with Vanderbilt Hospital
Dr. Adriana Bialostozky
Cumberland Elementary School
Metro Nashville Public Schools
Dr. Monique Felder
Granberry Elementary School
Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
Center for Nonprofit Management
Nashville Public Education Foundation
United Way of Metropolitan Nashville
Mayor Barry's Office
Nashville Public Library
Scarlett Family Foundation
Book 'Em Nashville
Dollar General Literacy Foundation
Whitney Works Consulting