Greenbrier Elementary School teacher Lauren Dean has been selected to serve on an advisory council by the Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation. She will serve in this capacity with 20 other educators from across the state.
These 21 educators were selected from 115 applicants to serve on the Educator Advisory Council, and they collectively represent 20 school districts in all three regions of the state. With less than one third of Tennessee third graders able to read proficiently, GELF aims to utilize the Council’s combined 290 years of experience to meet students and families where they are with the tools they need to strengthen early literacy and combat learning loss.
“Educators play the biggest part of our future generation’s story,” said James Pond, president of GELF. “Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation is honored to recognize their role, learn from their experience, and hear from their perspective to gain a better understanding of what our students need to become successful readers and future leaders. Together, we will work together to combat learning loss and strengthen early literacy.”
The primary responsibility of the Educator Advisory Council will be to select the books that students and teachers from across the state will be mailed through GELF’s K-3 Book Delivery program in Summer 2022. Through its K-3 Book Delivery program, GELF collaborates with Scholastic to mail high-quality, age-appropriate books to kindergarten through third grade students and teachers over the summer to combat learning loss and support learning in the home. In Summer 2021, GELF mailed books to 90,000 students and teachers across Tennessee, at no cost to families or school districts.
Robertson County Schools Director, Dr. Chris Causey was justifiably proud of Dean’s appointment and representation of the district.
“We are so proud of Mrs. Dean in this well-deserved selection and look forward to her expertise and passion being shared beyond Robertson County on a state level,” he said.
For her part, Dean said she’s looking forward to this unique opportunity.
“I am both honored and excited to serve on the Governer’s Early Literacy Foundation Educator Advisory Council,” she said. “I am passionate about literacy and what it can do for the future of children. The smartest people I know read a lot, and I hope to help select amazing books that every K-3 student in Tennessee will want to read again and again.”
Less than one third of Tennessee third graders read proficiently. Research shows that two to three months of reading proficiency is lost for students who do not read over the summer, and Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) 2021 scores show that disruptions to education during the COVID-19 pandemic led to a five-percentage point decline in third grade reading proficiency. Research shows that placing books and resources directly into the homes of families helps combat learning loss.
The 2021-2022 Educator Advisory Council represents 15 K-3 teachers, one library media specialist, and five school district leaders.