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State and local agencies celebrate first Tennessee Literacy Month

JACKSON, TN (WNBJ) - Gov. Bill Lee declared September 2021 as the first Tennessee Literacy Month so the state is celebrating literacy throughout the entire month.

As the COVID Pandemic continues to affect learning in the classroom, the Tennessee Department of Education is putting an extra focus on early literacy this year.

The Tennessee Department of Education is thrilled that the governor is putting extra emphasis on literacy.

“It is critically important that our children are reading proficiently by third grade. You know we had a difficult year last year and we know it is even more important that we invest in our youngest students and get them on grade-level reading and loving learn and reading,” said Penny Schwinn, the Commissioner of Education, State of Tennessee.

The commissioner of the department of education explains one online resource for families that can help students with their reading skills.

“Our Reading 360 Program on our website has a QR code and any of our younger students at home from kinder, first or second grades. You can go on using that QR code or sign up online and we will send a set of decodable easy readers to help kids read on their grade level,” said Commissioner Schwinn.

The Department of Education has several other reading resources available online at their website.

The librarians at the Jackson -Madison County Library say that the library is a great place to inspire literacy.

“For families literacy is a lot more than just checking out a book with printed words on it and reading. You can read an audiobook together as a family, you can get a cookbook and do a recipe together.," said Jennifer Kilburn, the Children’s Librarian at the Jackson Madison Co. Library.

Kilburn also wanted to highlight that literacy includes writing as well.

“You can also write. Literacy is reading and writing. So maybe an old fashion letter or writing to one of your favorite TV stars or something like that would be fun for families,” said Kilburn.

The library has several different programs for all ages to promote literacy such as storytimes various times throughout the week and book clubs.

To learn more about those programs, visit the library located at 433 East Lafayette Street in Jackson.

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