Project Abstract

This project will bring together various stakeholders to devise of county-wide plan to provide extra-curricular and curricular support for the Grundy County school system’s project of improving reading scores. Collaborators include, beyond the Grundy County school system, representatives from the following organizations the Office of Community Engagement, Discover Together, Yale University, Sequatchie Valley Head Start, and Sewanee’s Bonner Leaders program.

Project Alignment with the Collaborative for Southern Appalachian Studies

This workshop is designed to investigate an ambitious, Grundy County-wide reading initiative drawing on resources from Grundy County, Sewanee, Yale, and Scholastic. This effort will develop a local reading-program in rural Appalachia using resources from the Sewanee-Yale collaborative. Although the initial efforts will be on training teachers and setting up a community reading program (including training of Sewanee students and community members in how to help children learn to read and love reading), we also anticipate a research component, drawing on the expertise of Walter Gilliam (Associate Professor in the Yale Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine; Associate Professor of Psychology; Director, The Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy, Yale University).

Project Impact

The projects’ impact is to develop a plan for bring about the following:

  • improved reading scores of pre-K to 3rd grade students in Grundy County
  • improved understanding of barriers to education in rural Appalachia, as well as resources for removing these.
  • development of a new reading enrichment program for Grundy County‘s after-school programs
  • development of community resources to improve reading, including a volunteer program and training for volunteers as well as parents.
  • development of new partnership with the Grundy County School System and a multi-institutional approach to a significant community challenge. This may serve as a model for other University-community collaborations.

Final Report