November 9, 2020
NASHVILLE – Tennesseans for Student Success (TSS) today is announcing the winners of Tristar Reads, an annual reading scholarship competition for Tennessee students grades K-12. Students were encouraged to log reading hours during the summer for the opportunity to earn a $1,000 postsecondary scholarship across multiple age divisions.
While mitigating the summer slide is paramount, this year, it was even more critical to celebrate and encourage community engagement around literacy efforts with local school leaders to help curb further learning loss as a result of disruptions with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Tristar Reads Team Leader Program empowered individuals across the state to foster increased reading engagement and literacy by recruiting students.
“With 460 students logging 453,894 total minutes reading books this summer, we’re encouraged, especially during these times, by the momentum Tristar Reads fostered among Tennessee students,” said Tennesseans for Student Success President and CEO Adam Lister. “With only one-third of Tennessee students reading on grade-level, Tennessee’s future is brighter when we prioritize literacy both inside and outside the classroom, with a continued focus on improving outcomes for every student across the state.”
Tristar Reads is proud to award $1,000 college scholarships to the following outstanding Tennessee readers:
Elementary School Division – Jeffrey Stubblefield, 2nd Grade, Hamilton County, 39,420 minutes of reading
Middle School Division – Sarah Collier, 8th Grade, Cheatham County, 30,540 minutes of reading
High School Division – Amelia Cole, 9th Grade, Knox County, 40,800 minutes of reading
“We’re very proud of the hard work our team leaders have put into promoting literacy this summer, especially with the early school closures and increased need for literacy opportunities for all students,” said Policy and Outreach Manager Jessica Whitmill. “Recently, the Tennessee Department of Education released findings which estimate a 50 percent decrease in proficiency rates in third-grade reading as a result of instructional time lost from spring school closures. We must continue to help mitigate this significant loss of learning and work to get our students back on track.”
“It’s critical that students continue to learn and expand their reading skills during the summer months, and even more so this year,” said Team Leader Faith Johnson. “As a parent and Library Director of Jennie Woodworth Library, I’ve seen first-hand the strides that students have made in their reading skills as they practice and commit to reading during the summer. I’m encouraged that programs like Tennesseans for Student Succcess’ Tristar Reads are working to increase student improvement and growth during this unforeseen year.”
Team Leaders in the program recruited students who received literacy material for their organization, school, or nonprofit. This year, 13 leaders took advantage of this incredible opportunity and TSS gave away $1,500 in funding and resources to Valley View Elementary, White Bluff Elementary, Alex Green Elementary, Jennie Woodworth Library of White Bluff, The Discovery School, Centennial Elementary, Baxter Elementary, Central High School (Harrison, TN), Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum, Cole Elementary School, Collinwood Depot Library, Friends of Literacy, and Fall-Hamilton Elementary School.
To learn more about the annual program, visit www.tristarreads.com.