NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro Nashville Public Schools continue to look for ways to improve student reading. The pandemic created even more obstacles for elementary school children.
Prior to the pandemic, only 36% of Tennessee’s third graders could read on grade level.
Thanks to Nashville Soccer Club, a new program called Kickstart to Reading is aiming to bump up those goals. It's in partnership between MNPS and PENCIL, and sponsored by Loden Vision Centers.
Kickstart to Reading initially launched last year creating a fun and engaging environment that incentivizes students to make reading an easier and more positive experience.
In 2021, the program targeted third grade students at Whitsitt Elementary School. The school had such good feedback they'll be adding their second graders into the program this year.
This year the program will double its capacity adding third graders from Fall-Hamilton Elementary School to the list. In total it will be helping 200 readers from both schools.
Educators say this will make a long-term impact. Whitsitt Elementary Principal Justin Uppinghouse said the program has also helped students build a love for reading.