Today (March 8, 2021), the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) announced the 48 districts selected to participate in the optional, Pre-K–12 Literacy Implementation Networks, part of the state’s Reading 360 initiative to help boost strong reading skills amongst Tennessee students.
As part of Reading 360, eight regional implementation networks will consist of 48 districts with the overarching goal of supporting the implementation of high-quality English Language Arts (ELA) instructional materials for Pre-K–12 students through competitive grants over the next five years.
“Over the next five years, the regional Pre-K–12 Literacy Implementation Networks will foster opportunity for districts to learn from each other and to form unique partnerships to support high-quality literacy instruction to build strong readers, which ultimately promotes success for our students and our state,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn.
Each regional implementation network will consist of one mentor district, 4-6 participating districts, and a regionally selected vendor partner, with the option of selecting an elementary, middle or high school focus. Some of the districts selected to make up the eight regional Pre- K–12 implementation networks are:
- Mentor district of Putnam County includes Bledsoe, Cumberland, Fentress, Overton and Pickett County Schools
- Mentor district of Lenoir City Schools include Knox, Hamilton, and McMinn County Schools as well as Sweetwater and Athens City Schools.
Mentor districts have multiple years of high-quality instructional materials implementation experience and will help build capacity of participant districts who have adopted and purchased new ELA materials in the past year. Additionally, mentor districts will support participant districts’ system-level implementation strategy.
“Lenoir City Schools is thrilled to be able to join the PK–12 Literacy Implementation networks to collaborate around the important work of supporting high quality literacy instruction,” said Millicent Smith, Supervisor of Instructional Services, Lenoir City Schools. “We are excited to share lessons we have learned and look forward with anticipation to additional training and learning to support our continuous improvement!”
The district partnerships will help ensure teachers have the resources and support necessary to offer high-quality learning experiences for all children. Additionally, the networks will provide free coaching support for the training and use of Tennessee Instructional Practice Guides.
This competitive grant opportunity was open to all Tennessee districts to apply. The selected mentor and participating districts will agree to the grant requirements, which includes data sharing and a five-year commitment per the $20 million federal Comprehensive State Literacy Development (CSLD) grant awarded to the department to support the launch of the regional implementation networks.
Reading 360 is a comprehensive statewide literacy initiative to provide optional grants and resources to help more Tennessee students develop strong phonics-based reading skills by supporting districts, teachers, and families.
To launch Reading 360 and invest in optional reading resources and supports at no cost to the state or districts, the state is leveraging approximately $60 million of one-time federal COVID-19 relief funding and $40 million in federal grant funding.
To access additional resources on Reading 360, click on the following link: