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Franklin County, TN: 58 percent of students reading below grade level

June 12, 2021, Winchester (TN) Herald Chronicle: School System boosting literacy program

With reading deficiencies having increased among students due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Franklin County School System is joining forces as part of a statewide movement to improve literacy rates. Tennessee is appropriating $100 million, including $60 million in COVID-relief funding and $40 million through a special grant, to attack the state’s literacy problems. The money Franklin County will receive will be used to provide the instructional tools and resources to help more students develop stronger reading skills. Teachers will receive special training and will be compensated for it, and books that are geared toward improving reading skills will be selected. Exact Path, a diagnostic assessment program offered through Edmentum, Inc., an education-improvement company based out of Bloomington, Minnesota, has conducted a study that determined 58 percent of Franklin County students are reading below where they should be for their current grade level. Leah Harrell, secondary curriculum instruction supervisor, and Kim Tucker, elementary curriculum instruction supervisor, have been charged with initiating the Literacy Implementation Network in the School System. Harrell said all school systems have had students who have difficulty learning to read. However, she said the COVID-19 pandemic led to interruptions in the learning process that further compounded the problem.


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