CONTACT:  BARABARA DAVIDSON                                                    





The three-district school tour will showcase transformations in early reading instruction

as a result of the 2021 Early Reading Training

In celebration of Tennessee Literacy Month, the Knowledge Matters Campaign will visit three Tennessee districts over the next five weeks to highlight schools and districts that are transforming teaching and learning as a result of significant statewide investments in foundational literacy instruction and training of teachers in the science of reading. 

The selected Tennessee districts are ones that participated in the Reading 360 Early Reading Training last summer and that have incorporated practices learned there into their literacy instruction. 

The purpose of the Knowledge Matters School Tour, which was established in 2018, is to provide an opportunity for teachers and school leaders to share with other educators what their learning journey has entailed, specifically—in the case of the current Tennessee visit—how the Early Reading Training helped them accelerate student learning even after a pandemic-impacted 2020-21 school year. 

“We are proud that these districts are being recognized for their good work, for they are truly leading the way in strong foundational skills instruction,” said Lisa Coons, Chief Academic Officer at the Tennessee Department of Education, who noted that each is also leading one of the state’s Early Literacy Networks. 

“Tennessee’s investment in this wholesale training of its teacherforce is ground-breaking,” said Barbara Davidson, Executive Director of the Knowledge Matters Campaign. “We had the privilege of visiting several Tennessee schools in the 2019-20 school year, before the launch of the Reading 360 Initiative, and are excited to return to see its impact across the state.”

The media is invited to join each tour during the afternoon Roundtable Discussions, which give school leaders, teachers, and parents an opportunity to share the impact sounds-first instruction has had on students. 


Tour Details

Elizabethton City Schools Visit: Monday, March 14, 2022

Lebanon Special School District: Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Milan Special School District: Tuesday, April 5, 2022



The Knowledge Matters Campaign is a project of StandardsWork, a non-profit advocacy organization whose mission is to “find the good and praise it.” The campaign garners national awareness for the importance of building students’ background knowledge of the world through high-quality literacy instruction. To date, the Knowledge Matters School Tour has visited over 20 districts across the country whose implementation of high-quality, knowledge-building curricula is considered by the campaign to be praiseworthy.