TDOE Opens District Applications for Pre-K–12 Literacy Implementation Networks

Wednesday, February 03, 2021 | 02:21pm


48 Optional District Grants to Support Implementation of High-Quality Literacy Instruction


Nashville, TN—Today, the Tennessee Department of Education announced the district applications are open for the optional, Pre-K–12 Literacy Implementation Networks, part of the state’s Reading 360 initiative to improve literacy experiences for all children in Tennessee. 

As part of Reading 360, 48 competitive grants are available for funding over the next five years to bring Tennessee districts together to create eight regional implementation networks, each with the overarching goal of supporting the implementation of high-quality English Language Arts (ELA) instructional materials for Pre-K–12 students.  

Districts have the option of applying to be a mentor or a participating district. Applications for mentor districts are here and participating districts are here. The deadline for districts to apply for each is March 1, 2021. 

“The Pre-K–12 Literacy Implementation Networks will uniquely build the capacity of our school districts to support student readiness in reading by combining funding and peer-to-peer mentorship,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “The combination provides the conditions for successful student outcomes in school districts across the state during the next five years and sustain this mission critical work of providing access to high-quality literacy instruction.” 

Each regional implementation network will have the option of selecting an elementary, middle or high school focus. Each network will consist of a supporting mentor district, five participant districts, and a regionally selected vendor partner.  

Mentor districts will have multiple years of literacy implementation experience and will operate as a sounding board for districts who have adopted and purchased new ELA materials in the past year. The district partnerships will work to ensure teachers have the resources and support necessary to offer high-quality learning experiences for all children. Additionally, the networks will provide free coaching support for the training and use of Tennessee Instructional Practice Guides.  

“We are truly excited to provide 48 grants to support our districts and their work to implement high-quality literacy materials,” said Dr. Lisa Coons, Chief Academic Officer, Tennessee Department of Education. “Districts will have the opportunity to receive five years of grant funding, partner in regional cohorts to build exemplars for literacy instruction, and they will collaborate together to improve daily learning experiences for all children."  

This competitive grant opportunity is open to all Tennessee districts and will require a five-year commitment from mentor and participating districts and data sharing requirements per the $20 million federal Comprehensive State Literacy Development (CSLD) grant awarded to the department to support the launch of the regional implementation networks.  

Vendors will be selected from an approved vendor list, which will be generated through a separate formal state procurement process. 

Reading 360 is a comprehensive statewide literacy initiative to provide optional grants and resources to help more Tennessee students develop strong phonics-based reading skills by supporting districts, teachers, and families. 

To launch Reading 360 and invest in optional reading resources and supports at no cost to the state or districts, the state is leveraging approximately $60 million of one-time federal COVID-19 relief funding and $40 million in federal grant funding. 

To access additional resources on Reading 360, click here.   

For additional information on the department’s COVID-19 and school reopening related resources, please visit For additional information, For Tennessee Department of Education media inquiries, contact