Press Releases

First Lady Completes Year of Reading-Improvement Efforts for Kids

Press release from the Office of Governor Bill Haslam; May 17, 2012:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee First Lady Crissy Haslam completed a two week-long statewide reading tour yesterday with final school year-end visits to two of her 10 partnership schools.

Haslam’s final year-end visits to schools during the last two weeks included meetings with school administrators, recapping what was learned during the partnership and emphasizing the importance of literacy and parental involvement.

Haslam announced in May 2011 that she would partner with 10 schools across the state to focus on improving literacy rates, and during the past year, Haslam met with school administrators and families regarding parent engagement and promoted her READ 20 message by reading with and delivering books to students.

“The Tennessee Department of Education has set a goal to have 60 percent of third graders reading on grade level by 2014, and currently less half of our third graders are reading proficiently,” Haslam said. “Early literacy is the foundation for academic success, and if children and families commit to reading twenty minutes every day, that’s a tremendous step towards brighter academic futures and greater opportunities in life.”

The Tennessee Department of Education selected the 10 partnership schools based on their third grade TCAP reading scores, which were below the state average, but showed promise for great improvement. On this final round of visits, Haslam discussed their progress and encouraged them to continue to increase in reading proficiency.

“I have truly enjoyed working with our partnership schools,” Haslam said. “I have learned a lot by visiting with their teachers and administrators, parents and students. I hope that they have been encouraged by our work together and that their students continue to make improvements in literacy.”

The First Lady’s Partnership schools are: Coles Ferry Elementary in Lebanon; Dyersburg Intermediate School; Etowah Elementary; Gateway Elementary in Nashville; Hamilton Elementary in Memphis; Happy Valley Elementary in Johnson City; Northwest Elementary in Mason; Red Bank Elementary in Chattanooga; Union City Elementary; and Unicoi Elementary.

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