READ 20 is a public-private partnership whose mission is to create a community of readers by promoting the importance of reading with children for at least 20 minutes a day.
In 2004, Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey led an Education Summit in which citizens met to share ideas about how to boost literacy skills in Hamilton County. One of the goals to arise from the summit was:
For every child to be reading on grade level by the end of 3rd grade. (TN counties average less than half)
Read 20 nurtures a passion for reading with children through strategic interventions with parents, grandparents, early childhood educatorss, and community leaders. Read 20’s early efforts have had a significant impact on Hamilton County’s birth-to-5-year-old population who now have greater access to more opportunities for early childhood literacy development.
Read 20 aims to cultivate a love of reading through building knowledge, shaping attitudes, and by influencing Hamilton County’s parents, educators, community members, and child care providers, to focus on the importance of reading with all children for at least 20 minutes a day.
For the past 15 years, Read 20 has been focused on closing the literacy gap across our various communities, and on strengthening early childhood literacy across Hamilton County. Evidence from data and research demonstrates that not all families have easy access to books, or the specific know-how to navigate the long road literacy. We know that early and ongoing exposure to a variety of books and stories in the home, and in particular the ability read at grade level in the early years, are the keys to long term educational success.