On Monday, the Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation (GELF), in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE), announced a statewide rollout of Ready4K, a research-based text messaging program designed to help parents support their students in learning at home.

This marks the largest statewide rollout of the Ready4K program to date and this resource is being made available for free to Tennessee school districts by GELF and TDOE.

Through the Ready4K program, 140,000 families with pre-K through 3rd grade students across Tennessee will receive three weekly text messages with facts, tips and activities on how to help each child learn and grow by building on existing family routines. Text messages match each child’s age, with simple, engaging facts and suggestions for building on existing daily routines, such as getting dressed, bath time or preparing a meal.

In Tennessee, parents in 86 school districts, 38 of which have voluntary pre-K programs participating, began receiving text messages on Monday. Locally, Meigs County Schools is participating in the program.

“Our day-to-day activities outside of the classroom create rich learning experiences that are free and easy to do,” said James Pond, president of GELF. “Together with TDOE, we are highlighting those opportunities in fun, accessible ways for parents and caregivers to incorporate into their daily routines, from getting dressed, to preparing a meal. Just as we deliver books directly to homes, delivering Ready4K texts directly to phones makes it as easy as possible for families to implement learning opportunities that can positively impact a child’s life.”

Ready4K is a part of the Tennessee Department of Education’s new $100 million literacy initiative, Reading 360, which will provide optional reading resources and supports for districts, teachers, and families to help students read on grade level by third grade.

“In Tennessee, our goal is to ensure all students can develop into strong readers,” said Dr. Penny Schwinn, Tennessee Department of Education commissioner. “As a parent, I know this past year has been a stressful time, juggling work and home life while trying to ensure our children continue learning. We are proud to partner with the Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation to launch Ready4K in Tennessee and provide this free, easy resource to help families support strong learning at home.”

The Ready4K text messages are aligned to Tennessee’s academic standards and focus on key areas like language and literacy, math and science, social and emotional learning, physical development, and health and safety. The Ready4K text messages intend to spark family conversations in English and Spanish and expand learning at home.

If any Tennessee public school district is interested, there will be future opportunities for districts to participate and can email Ready4K@governors

foundation.org for additional information.

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