Tennessee Titans Expand Annual ‘Rookies Read’ Event to Encourage Early Literacy Across Nashville

Tennessee Titans, Governor's Early Literacy Foundation Expand Annual 'Rookies Read' Event to Encourage Early Literacy Across Nashville
Photo by Tennessee Titans

The Tennessee Titans recently partnered with the Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation (GELF) and My Brother’s Keeper to host the annual ‘Rookies Read Across Nashville’ event for local children at Nashville Public Library’s Looby Branch Library, Purpose Preparatory Academy, and Thomas Edison Elementary. The event, normally held at a single location, expanded this year to encourage more young learners to ‘Stop the Slide’ during the summer and keep their brains active by reading. Representatives from GELF joined Titans rookies and leadership to share their favorite books and a special storytime for the children.

The event featured remarks from James Pond, GELF president, as well as Titans Vice President and Executive Director of the Titans Foundation, Johari Matthews. Titans rookies discussed their favorite books and participated in storytime, followed before the next electionby a Q&A with the children in attendance.

“Education is a key pillar of our ONE Community platform, and supporting initiatives that increase literacy is a huge focus for us,” said Matthews. “Working with GELF on the Rookie Reads event is something we look forward to annually, and we were thrilled to expand the initiative across three locations this year, offering additional educational resources to students throughout our city.”

According to GELF, research shows that two to three months of proficiency is lost for students who do not read over the summer, but reading four to six books has the potential to stop, mitigate, or reverse this “summer slide.” The ‘Rookies Read Across Nashville’ event aims to support GELF’s “Stop the Slide!” summer reading campaign and K-3 Home Library program. GELF’s K-3 Home Library program was established to combat summer learning loss in Tennessee and better support in the home learning for students. Through this program, GELF delivered 1.2 million books to teachers and students statewide this summer, including every rising first, second and third grader enrolled in a public school in Tennessee.

“At Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation, we team up with partners statewide to promote a culture of reading inside and outside of the classroom, on and off the field,” said James Pond, President of GELF. “Through our K-3 Home Library program, we deliver books and resources to over a million Tennessee students and teachers over the summer. We are grateful for the Titans’ support in joining us to ‘Stop the Slide!’ of summer learning loss. We all have a position to play in building a brighter future for our children.”

To help “Stop the Slide!” GELF encourages families to utilize their other statewide early literacy programs this summer as well as participate in their local library’s Summer Reading Challenge. GELF invites families to engage their children with over 50 Storybook Trails across the state. The Storybook Trails bring classic stories to life in outdoor settings that showcase Tennessee’s natural beauty, from Cheekwood in Nashville to Montgomery Bell State Park in Burns. GELF Book Buses will also be in service this summer, bringing high quality literacy resources to children and communities. Tennesseans are encouraged to join GELF’s “Booker’s Book Club” on social media this summer by posting photos of their children reading with the hashtags #BookersBookClubTN #StoptheSlideTN. For more information, visit GovernorsFoundation.org or follow @GovEarlyLiteracyTN on Facebook and Instagram.


ONE Community is the Tennessee Titans’ multi-faceted philanthropic platform that reaches many of Nashville’s most underrepresented and marginalized communities with a focus on three areas – Opportunity, Neighborhoods and Education. The Titans have binding partnership agreements with each ONE Community organization supported, and an advisory committee to help foster growth and provide accountability, oversight, and reporting measures. Powered by the Titans Foundation, ONE Community strives to create generational change one person, one family, and one community at a time.

Source: TennesseeTitans.com


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