News release from governor’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee First Lady Crissy Haslam today began a month-long statewide reading tour to promote improving literacy rates.
The tour kicks off a year-long partnership with ten Tennessee schools located across the state to improve local reading proficiency levels.
Haslam will work to help each of the ten schools with specific needs or struggles they might face will promote early reading initiatives and programs available to students in their communities.
“I’m looking forward to establishing a close partnership between these schools and learning about the ways we can help to strengthen early literacy in each of these areas and across the state,” Haslam said.
The schools are: Happy Valley Elementary in Johnson City; Gateway Elementary in Nashville; Dyersburg Intermediate School; Northwest Elementary in Mason; Red Bank Elementary in Chattanooga; Etowah Elementary; Union City Elementary; Unicoi Elementary; Coles Ferry Elementary in Lebanon; and Hamilton Elementary in Memphis.
Haslam announced in early March she would work with the Tennessee Department of Education to support its Early Grades Reading Delivery plan, an effort with the initial goal of at least 60 percent of all Tennessee third graders reading at a proficient level or above by 2014. The May visits will be the first of many to come during the 2012-2013 school year.
As part of the May visits, Haslam will highlight summer reading programs, bringing in local librarians with her to the schools to talk about resources available within local communities. As part of Scholastic’s Summer Challenge, she will also give each student a Scholastic donated book to take home to read during the summer.
During the upcoming visits, Haslam will also promote the Read 20 initiative, a growing nation-wide message on the importance of reading twenty minutes every day.
“Reading is the foundation upon which the rest of learning is built,” Haslam said. “If children and families commit to reading at least 20 minutes each day, that’s a tremendous step toward a brighter future.”