75% of Nashville third-graders not reading on grade level; initiative aims to help

Mid-South

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Metro Nashville Public School District (MNPS) is launching a new initiative to help students struggling to read on grade level.

According to the Blueprint for Early Childhood Success, three out of four Nashville third-graders were not reading on grade level. The city-wide framework for literacy aims to double the number of third-graders reading at grade level by 2025.

“The concern was that so many of Nashville’s third-graders were failing to read at grade level, and we knew that this was going to impact not only their success in terms of education in the classroom but also their success in life overall,” said Erica Mitchell, United Way of Greater Nashville Executive Vice President and Chief Community Impact Officer.

The MNPS Literacy Reimagined Initiative aimed to teach reading and writing in a more robust and accessible way. District leaders hope to do this through curricula designed around authentic texts for students.

“Whether you’re a teacher, a support staff member, a parent, a community leader, or a student, you have a stake in this work because a student who can’t read at grade level represents a series of missed opportunities for all of us,” said Director of Schools Dr. Adrienne Battle. “Our students deserve opportunities to learn and grow. They deserve opportunities to compete for high-impact jobs in an economy based on knowledge and the ability to absorb, process, and synthesize information. “

Goodlettsville Elementary School first grade teacher Charity Quinonez was among the teachers who tried out the Wit & Wisdom literacy curriculum last year.

“One of the units that we worked on had to do with informative writing, which I’ve taught many times before,” Quinonez said. “But rather than just seeing my students check, did I introduce my topic, did I have enough facts, I saw my students really delve into their writing and ask questions like, was this interesting, and have I done enough to engage my reader in this writing?  

MNPS will start using the new method for grades K-12 at the start of the next school year. 

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