MNPS hopes adding more books to classroom libraries will improve score

In an effort to address acute classroom library needs the Rotary Club of Nashville and the Nashville Public Education Foundation (NPEF) this week delivered 8,000 books to local elementary schools.  It’s a joint venture leveraging public and private investment. This year, MNPS funded classroom libraries in five high-needs schools.
Expanding classroom lib- raries was one of the recommendations in the Nashville Literacy Collaborative’s (NLC) “Blueprint for Early Childhood Success,” released earlier this month, which aims to double the number of third-graders who read on grade level by 2025.
“A critical piece of learning to read is ensuring kids have access to high-interest books on a range of reading levels; but less than half of all elementary school classrooms in Nashville have more than 100 books, with many having next to none,” said Shannon Hunt, NPEF president and CEO.
Combined with the knowledge that each of these classrooms has approximately 20 to 22 students, all reading on different levels, it is clear teachers do not have the resources they need to help.
“We will never succeed in doubling the number of kids reading on grade level if we don’t first solve basic resource needs in classrooms,” said  Hunt.
Director of Schools Dr. Shawn Joseph also recognizes that improving literacy and improving schools cannot be the work of the school district alone. “It requires public–private partnerships with community organizations across the city,” said Joseph.
Volunteers who helped deliver the books  will return to the schools throughout the year to read to students.