NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Education advocates urged the community to get involved in helping to improve literacy rates in Metro Nashville Public Schools.
The United Way of Greater Nashville is a big part of the effort to improve literacy rates for metro students, having launched the Blueprint for Early Childhood Success a few years ago with a goal of doubling the number of third-graders reading at grade level by 2025.
“If a child is not reading at grade level at the end of third grade, the statistics will tell us they are four to six times more likely to drop out of school. They are much more likely to engage with the incarceration system. They’re earnings are negatively impacted,” said Erica Mitchell, Executive Vice President and Chief Community Impact Officer for United Way of Greater Nashville. “There are a lot of things that will stand in their ways as barriers because you have to have literacy in order to engage, in order to participate.”
She said the entire Nashville community needs to realize the far-reaching impacts of helping a child to improve their reading.
“Literacy is an issue that impacts the entire community. It’s whether we have children who are in school now or we have kids who have graduated or we don’t have children in the system at all. We’re talking about our future workforce. We’re talking about our future neighbors. We’re talking about our future citizens and how we contribute and make our community thrive,” said Mitchell. “When we have a highly literate community, we have a community that will be thriving. It’s up to each one of us to have a contribution toward that effort.”
She said people can help by tutoring children or championing the message of literacy in their community. Visit BlueprintNashville.org and click “Get Involved” for more information.