Local schools awarded Read to be Ready Summer Grants

Rick Wagner • Updated May 15, 2017 at 2:33 PM

KINGSPORT — Kingsport City Schools and five other Northeast Tennessee systems have received a 2017 Read to be Ready Summer Grant. The KCS award is about $50,000 to fund an innovative educational camp to target rising first-, second- and third-graders from Title I schools.

Kingsport’s Jackson and Lincoln elementary students are to participate, according to the Tennessee Department of education website.

In Hawkins County, Surgoinsville, Carters Valley, Mooresburg and McPheeter’s Bend elementary schools and Joseph Rogers Primary are participating, while in Sullivan County Emmett Elementary and Sullivan Gardens K-8 are participating; in Bristol, Tenn., Fairmont Elementary; and in Washington County, Jonesborough Elementary. Rogersville City School also is participating.

Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced that more than 11,000 students in 107 communities across the state will benefit from the grant program. In total, the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) is awarding more than $8.5 million to 212 grant recipients.

The TDOE and Human Services, with support from first lady Crissy Haslam, have partnered to expand the program through an investment of $30 million over the next three years.

“Summer reading loss can have a significant impact on the academic progress made by our students during the school year,” Haslam said. “These Read to Be Ready summer programs are an innovative and strategic approach to combating that summer slide and improving reading proficiency across the state.”

Read to be Ready is a coordinated campaign and approach to increase third grade reading proficiency in Tennessee to 75 percent by 2025 through a variety of initiatives. The campaign seeks to raise awareness about the importance of reading, unite efforts to address low reading achievement, highlight best practices and build partnerships.

KCS will hold the summer program from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 5–29, Monday through Friday at Lincoln Elementary School. Snacks and lunch will be provided. In total, 60 KCS students will be invited to participate in the program which will have a 1:5 teacher/student radio. Highlights of the program will include field trips, guest speakers and working in conjunction with the United Way of Greater Kingsport’s United We Read program and Wellmont Health System. 

“To reach our goals as a state, we know that our struggling readers need support beyond strong, daily classroom instruction for 180 days of the year,” McQueen said. “Read to be Ready summer programs help communities ensure our youngest learners are getting the targeted support they need year-round. Above all, we want students to develop the skills and abilities that will grow their motivation and confidence to become lifelong readers and thinkers.”

For the complete list of 2017 Read to be Ready summer grant recipients, visit the TDOE website. For more information on Read to be Ready and the summer grant program, contact Paige Atchley, Read to be Ready program director, at [email protected]