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2016 Summer Grant

In conjunction with the launch of the statewide Read to be Ready Campaign, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation gave a $1 million gift to the department in February 2016 to fund summer reading programs for three years. In the spring of 2016, the department released its first call for proposals and received over 220 submissions. Of the original submissions, 12 summer programs from across the state were selected to receive funding.  

Because of additional funding, support, and collaboration provided by the Department of Economic and Community Development, eight additional Read to be Ready summer programming sites were funded in distressed counties across the state. Distressed counties  are designated by the Appalachian Regional Commission and rank in the bottom 10 percent of the nation's counties on the basis of low per capita income and high rates of poverty and unemployment.

At the conclusion of the grant period, we collected data and compiled results from across all programs in the 2016 Read to be Ready Summer Grant Report. The report highlights that 11,875 books were sent home with students to stock their at-home libraries; 574 students were given access to high-quality reading instruction during the summer months; and 598 family members were engaged with in camp activities over the summer. It also shows the successes of each individual program. 

Bledsoe County Schools
Cannon County Schools
Fentress County Schools
Giles County Schools
Grundy County Schools
Hancock County Schools
Hardeman County Schools
Hawkins County Schools
Humboldt City Schools
Jackson-Madison Schools
Lauderdale County Schools
Lenoir City Schools
Metro Nashville Public Schools
McMinn County Schools
Oak Ridge City Schools
Oneida Special School District
Perry County Schools
Polk County Schools
Robertson County Schools
Wayne County Schools

In 2016, the following message appeared on the Read to be Ready website:
"The Tennessee Department of Education seeks proposals for summer instructional programs that provide reading and writing opportunities for rising first, second, and third grade students. Proposals are due by Friday, April 22 at 5:00 p.m. CDT, and applicants will be notified of the status of their proposals no later than Monday, May 2. If awarded funds, programs must begin no later than June 15 and must run for a minimum of four weeks. The Read to be Ready Summer Grant is supported by funds from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. If you have any questions, please email

The purpose of the Read to be Ready Summer Grant is to fund programs that target low-income students who we know experience the greatest summer learning loss. The grants are intended to fund summer instructional programs that provide rich reading and writing opportunities for rising first, second, and third grade students. The goal is to develop a student’s love for reading over the summer months by providing them with access to a multitude of high-quality books at different levels and for different interests. We invite educators and leaders of summer programs to submit proposals describing their goals and plans for implementing their proposed summer reading program." 

To see the 2016 Call for Proposals,  2016 Summer Grant Rubric, 2016 Project Budget Template, 2016 Letter of Support Template, 2016 Guiding Principles Document, and/or the 2016 Online Application Preview, please view this documentPLEASE NOTE: These materials were valid for the 2016 Read to be Ready Summer Grant cycle ONLY. These materials will not be accepted for future grant periods. They are being provided for reference purposes ONLY.