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United Way of Williamson County has expanded their literacy program to provide year-round academic support for Williamson County students from first to fourth grade, with Tuesday morning programs at Chapman’s Retreat Elementary School and Thursday morning programs at Liberty Elementary in Franklin.

The Summer Literacy Program, which started earlier this month, is a Raise Your Hand initiative that promotes the importance of daily reading and combats the effects of summer learning loss known as “summer slide.”

When students are not engaged in high-quality learning activities during the summer months, they are at risk of losing significant learning achievements acquired during the school year.

“We are thrilled to offer the Summer Literacy Program to students and their families,” says Sonya Johnson, Strategic Program Manager for United Way of Williamson County. “This new initiative will encourage students to keep reading all year long by making access to books and fun learning activities much easier.”

United Way of Williamson County launched the Raise Your Hand education program in 2012 to

provide free after-school tutoring to students in first through fourth grade. Since 2012, Raise Your Hand has helped over 400 students across 11 area schools improve their math and reading proficiencies. During the 2017-2018 school year, 93% of program participants advanced their reading levels.

United Way of Williamson County has partnered with Williamson County Schools and Franklin

Special School District to implement the Summer Literacy Program at two school library locations.

Students enrolled in Williamson County Schools can attend Chapman’s Retreat Elementary School from 9 a.m. until noon each Tuesday through July 24. Students enrolled in the Franklin Special School District can attend Liberty Elementary School 9 a.m. until noon each Thursday through July 26. Both school locations will be closed during the Fourth of July week.

Children entering kindergarten are welcome to participate.

Parents are welcome to contact Sonya Johnson at 615-771-2312 or sjohnson@uwwc.org for more information.

Raise Your Hand (RYH) is an education initiative to recruit volunteer tutors for students performing below the State of Tennessee education standard. Tutors work in the classroom after school helping teachers with first through fourth grade students who are struggling with reading and math. Participation is free for students and includes free snacks and transportation home.

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