The Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation (GELF) and the Tennessee Department of Education, in collaboration with Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, announced last week the launch of a new K-3 Book Delivery program to deliver 580,000 books to 58,000 kindergarten through third-grade students and teachers across the state.

Over 50 school districts, including Trousdale County Schools, are participating in the K-3 School Year Book Delivery program, which will deliver books and literacy resources directly to the homes of students and teachers, at no cost to families or participating school districts. Book packs consist of 10 high-quality, grade appropriate books with guided activities and tips for parents to engage with students as they read. Book packs and resources are expected to be delivered to students’ and teachers’ homes by the end of 2020. Additionally, K-3 families will gain access to engagement tips via text.

“The School Year Book Delivery program is an incredible opportunity for our state to make important early literacy gains,” said Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “This partnership could not have come at a more important time, as many students, families and teachers are working hard to make up for classroom time lost last spring. Building literacy skills early is foundational to lifelong educational success and the department is grateful to GELF and Scholastic for their work to expand access to high-quality books and literacy resources and help students and families read together at home.”

Participating districts for the new K-3 Book Delivery program were selected based on size, 2018-2019 third grade reading proficiency rates and the economic prosperity of the county as defined by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. Rural districts with lower reading proficiency rates were prioritized, and all three grand regions of the state are represented.

The new book delivery program comes on the heels of a successful summer reading pilot where GELF and Scholastic distributed 2,100 book packs to students. The response from children, parents and caregivers was overwhelmingly positive, sharing feedback about the excitement of receiving new books in the mail, the joy of sharing stories together and the magic of escaping through a good book.

— From Staff Reports

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