TDOE Awards $27M TN ALL Corps Grants to Five Community Partners Expanding High-Dosage, Low-Ratio Statewide Tutoring Program

Wednesday, June 22, 2022 | 12:54pm


18K New Tutoring Seats for At-Risk Tennessee Students 

Nashville, TN—Today, the Tennessee Department of Education announced five regional community-based organizations have been awarded a Tennessee Accelerating Literacy and Learning Corps (TN ALL Corps) Community Partner Grant to launch new tutoring programs in the 2022-23 school year, serving up to 18,000 Tennessee students with free tutoring services.   

Each grant awardee is responsible for recruiting and hiring tutors as well as coordinating with regional districts for student selection in grades 1-8 and design of the local tutoring program.  

The grant awardees are as follows:  

  • Niswonger Foundation- $9 million to serve 6,000 students
  • Literacy Mid-South- $4.5 million to serve 3,000 students
  • United Way of Greater Knoxville- $4.5 million to serve 3,000 students
  • United Way of Greater Nashville- $4.5 million to serve 3,000 students
  • United Way of Greater Chattanooga- $4.5 million to serve 3,000 students

"The department is excited to grow our high-dosage, low-ratio tutoring program, TN ALL Corps, to include new community partners across the state and increase the number of opportunities available for student learning,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “Tennessee continues to demonstrate our shared commitment to students and academic achievement, and we are thrilled to engage strong community partners across the state to provide essential support and help put all students on a path to success.”

In January 2021, Governor Bill Lee convened the Tennessee General Assembly for a special legislative session to pass policies to help mitigate COVID-19 disruptions and support Tennessee students, including establishing the Tennessee Accelerating Literacy and Learning Corps (TN ALL Corps). Leveraging federal ESSER dollars, 83 Tennessee school districts opted to participate in the state’s TN ALL Corps program to receive matching grants from the department to further implement and strengthen tutoring services they could provide to students.  

Community partner grant awardees will follow the state’s high-dosage, low-ratio model for tutoring within their local program, which means English Language Arts (ELA) and math tutoring will be provided in small groups to students not currently being served through existing TN ALL Corps programs at a 1:3 adult to student ratio in grades 1-5, and 1:4 adult to student ratio in grades 6-8. 

"Our team is eager to begin this powerful intervention work to get students back on track,” said Matt Ryerson, CEO, United Way Greater Knoxville. “While this is a win for us and our partners, it's most importantly a win for the kids in East Tennessee that will receive focused tutoring, caring mentors, and a community of folks cheering them on."

“The Niswonger Foundation is proud to be part of this visionary work. It is exciting to think about joining forces across the state, to ensure that our children have the best possible start to their future,” said Nancy Dishner, President and CEO, Niswonger Foundation. “Having seen the power of high-dosage, low-ratio tutoring in national research and in our Foundation's current work, I am convinced that this is the right direction for our students' success.”

"Raise Your Hand is so excited to work with our community partners and help first- through eighth-grade students increase their overall academic success," said Sonya Johnson, Manager of Education Initiatives, United Way of Greater Nashville. "A core focus at United Way is ensuring every child in our community has an equal chance to learn and succeed. Through this grant, we can add an extra layer of confidence to strengthen the literacy and comprehension skills for each student that will prepare them to achieve reading proficiency and succeed in school and beyond."

“We believe literacy has the game-changing ability to help children reach the critical skills necessary for them to achieve success,” said Sam O’Bryant, Executive Director, Literacy Mid-South. “To that end, Literacy Mid-South has a targeted focus to use these funds to make a significant impact in our schools and neighborhoods. We are very grateful to the Tennessee Department of Education for this investment in our work.”

“This grant directly aligns with our mission at United Way of uniting people and resources to build a stronger, healthier community--in this case, the kids who need additional resources to get on track in school,” said Abby Garrison, VP of Community Investments, United Way of Greater Chattanooga. “We are excited to partner with TDOE, our local school systems, community partners, and families to invest in our kids.”

For Tennessee Department of Education media inquiries, contact