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East Nashville Hope Exchange Kicks Off Summer Program

Literacy Program Asks Kids to Reflect on Neighborhood, City

The East Nashville Hope Exchange kicked off its summer program, "My Family, My Community, My World," last week, and forty-two children are knee deep in books, art, and FUN! The program, funded in part through a grant from Humanities Tennessee, focuses on improving the literacy of at-risk children with books and activities that help students understand their roles within the community, setting the stage for the critical transition from learning to read, to reading to learn.

Using books and reading as a springboard, the kids---ages 6-9--are learning about the city on weekly field trips, discussing literature with civic leaders, and making maps of the ever-expanding spheres of their personal geography--family, community, world.  

This powerful program connects the ideas in books to experiences across the city by posing the same questions about both throughout each of six weeks, for example--what is a community? How are they the same, different? How do they change?

If the heart of the program is to sharpen reading skills, the soul of it is to impart the value of reading as a necessary, and routine, means for accessing, generating and sharing ideas.