Nashville leaders make pledge to improve literacy

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The scores are back, and school administrators aren’t impressed with what they see in Nashville schools.

 According to the TN Ready scores, two out of every three Nashville children are leaving third grade “off-track” in literacy.

On Wednesday, city leaders signed an agreement and vowed to do better.

Studies show that a student’s third-grade reading level makes a big difference for the rest of his or her life.

One out of six third-graders who cannot read proficiently will fail to graduate high school, meaning they will have less future earning potential and higher rates of incarceration.

Mayor Megan Barry, Director of Schools Shawn Joseph, the Nashville Public Education Foundation and the heads of multiple other civic, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations unveiled and signed “The Blueprint for Early Childhood Success” on Wednesday.

The goal is to double the number of Nashville kids reading on grade level by the end of third grade.

“These recommendations do things like … when we give a kid a book through Imagination Library, let’s surround them with other supports that help make sure this book gets read to them regularly by an adult,” said Shannon Hunt, the president and CEO of the Nashville Public Education Foundation. “Only a handful of cities in the country have put together this sort of in-depth, birth-through-third grade community approach to literacy.”

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