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Tenn for Student Success announces Tennessee Literacy Now Advocacy campaign

TSS will advocate for the passage of long-overdue strategies to improve the state’s literacy rate and will donate books to local schools

Staff Report

NASHVILLE –Tennesseans for Student Success (TSS) announced a new campaign this week to promote childhood literacy improvements and work with the Tennessee General Assembly to advocate for the passage of long-overdue strategies to improve the state’s literacy rates.

As part of the Tennessee Literacy Now (TNLitNow) campaign, TSS launched a statewide advertising campaign to educate voters that:

  • One in three 3rd graders are not reading at grade-level proficiency
  • More than 650,000 Tennessee students are not reading on grade level
  • Nearly 80 percent of students of color are reading below grade level

The TNLitNow campaign will also direct voters to advocacy tools to reach out to their legislators to advocate for the bold and urgent action needed to chart a new path to success for hundreds of thousands of students. TSS will also coordinate the donation of thousands of books to schools across Tennessee, with a particular focus on communities with high populations of low-income families.

On December 29, 2020, Governor Bill Lee (R-Tenn.) announced his intention to convene the Tennessee legislature for a special legislative session to address critical issues facing public education on January 19, 2021. Gov. Lee has worked with education leaders, lawmakers, teachers, and parents to develop a response to our state’s literacy crisis, attacking these challenges head-on with proven strategies that will provide better instructional materials for students, resources for teachers, and lead to a brighter future for thousands of young minds.

“Next week, the Tennessee General Assembly has the opportunity to drastically change the lives and futures of hundreds of thousands of students,” said TSS President & CEO Adam Lister. “Well documented are the challenges, lost opportunities, and chaotic futures facing kids who are not reading on grade level by third grade – a mark that just one in three are currently achieving. The Volunteer State has a history of taking bold steps in confronting challenges and our literacy crisis requires nothing less. With the TNLitNow campaign, Tennesseans for Student Success is committed to partnering with parents and teachers across the state to advocate for the urgent response demanded from our leaders while contributing resources to local communities.”

The deadline for book donation submissions is January 14, 2021. Visit to learn more.