Gov. Lee Recognizes ‘Read Across America’ Week, Literacy Month in Tennessee

Proposes additional strategic K-3 literacy investments in upcoming budget
Thursday, March 02, 2023 | 10:51pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee recognized March 2-6 as Read Across America Week and proclaimed it Literacy Month in Tennessee, highlighting the Administration’s continued work to strengthen literacy and prepare young readers for success. 

“Throughout the month, we’re celebrating our continued commitment to literacy and the potential for every student to be a strong reader,” said Gov. Lee. “This year, we have the opportunity to invest in a reading strategy that reaches students starting in kindergarten through the third grade to prepare them for success in the classroom and beyond.”

Lee’s Fiscal Year 2023-24 budget proposal includes more than $70 million in state funding to prioritize K-3 literacy programs, including tutoring and summer camps, to give students multiple pathways to become a strong reader.

The proposal builds upon Lee’s commitment to boost K-12 literacy and address learning loss, which includes the following key actions

Lee Administration Literacy Actions

Prioritizing Phonics-Based Instruction

Currently, only 1/3 of third graders in Tennessee are reading on grade level, which leads to nearly three out of four students who struggle to read on grade level when they reach high school. To combat this challenge, Tennessee ensured that local education agencies (LEAs) use phonics-based instruction to better serve K-3 students struggling to read at grade level in 2021.

Launching the Reading 360 and TN ALL Corps Initiatives

Tennessee launched Reading 360 in 2021, offering optional grants and resources tailored to the needs of individual districts while providing support for teachers and families to help students develop strong phonics-based reading skills. Additionally, Tennessee implemented Tennessee Accelerated Literacy and Learning (ALL) Corps to provide ongoing tutoring for students throughout the school year.

Leading the Nation in Returning to the Classroom

Tennessee led the nation in getting kids back to school after time away from the classroom in 2020, offering in-person learning in every school district across the state.