Family Literacy Nights & Other Opportunities for Tennessee Families

Friday, June 18, 2021 | 04:37pm

By: Comm. Penny Schwinn 

Since we know parents are our students first teachers, we knew it would be essential for Reading 360 to engage parents as partners in the effort to get all children reading by third grade. Our investment in Tennessee’s teachers through the Early Reading Training will ensure excellent reading instruction in every classroom. However, educators are not the only partners in literacy. We know we need to equip families to be partners in creating strong learning experiences for our kids. 

This summer, five community organizations will host literacy nights for families, to bring families to the important conversation about how children learn to read. They’ll offer a chance for families to learn what strong, structured reading instruction looks like, directly from Tennessee teachers.  

Families will also learn how they can create reading experiences at home and take advantage of the new, free resources available from the Tennessee Department of Education through Reading 360: free ‘decodable’ books for early readers, “Ready4K” informational texts, and educational summer programming on  local PBS stations. Families can learn more about these opportunities below. 

Learn more about Reading 360

As a parent, I have found knowing the fundamentals of how kids learn to read to be empowering, and I want all parents to have this key information.  


Join a Family Literacy Night: 

These events are open to all Tennessee families: 

  • Let's Talk Literacy -- An Event for Parents 
    • Hosted by The Metro Nashville Schools Of Innovation 
    • Thursday, June 17 @ 6:00 PM CT | REGISTER HERE
  • Arm Yourself with Reading Knowledge  
    • Hosted by The Memphis Lift 
    • Thursday, June 24 @ 6:00 PM CT | REGISTER HERE
  • How Are Our Schools Advancing Children’s Literacy? 
    • Hosted by United WE READ, an initiative of the United Way of Greater Kingsport 
    • Tuesday, June 29 @ 6:30 PM ET | REGISTER HERE 
  • Focus on the Future: Supporting Your Child’s Reading Success 
    • Hosted by The Salvation Army 
    • Thursday, July 15 @ 6:00 PM CT | REGISTER HERE
  • The Keys to Research-Aligned Reading Instruction  
    • Hosted by the Tennessee Branch of the International Dyslexia Association 
    • Thursday, July 29 @ 7:00 PM CT  |  REGISTER HERE

A special thank you to these community leaders for hosting family literacy nights. I’m inspired to see the collective, statewide passion for supporting children’s literacy and empowering families. 


Spread the Word: Free Decodables for Families 

Parents of K–2 students, don’t forget to order your free, decodable books! As you’ll learn in the family literacy nights, these books are designed to help children sound out words and build their reading skills.  

To date, more than 45,000 Tennessee families have ordered these free decodables, and we want them to reach all families! 


Tune Into Teaching Tennessee

This summer, PBS stations across Tennessee are airing professionally developed content for children based on our materials, to support summer learning.

There has never been a more important time to support Tennessee families, and I’m grateful to each of these organizations for partnering in the effort to get all kids reading!