Read to Succeed

Preparing Children for Success

Read to Succeed is a comprehensive early childhood learning model, which focuses on building literacy and social-emotional skills for Nashville’s most at-risk preschoolers.

In 2017, 93% of children participating in the Read to Succeed program had the necessary skills to succeed in kindergarten. But why is this so important? Research indicates that children who have not developed basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are 3-4 times more likely to drop out in later years. Studies also show that if a child is ready to learn to read by the time they enter kindergarten, they are more likely to be reading at or above grade level by third grade, which is an indicator of future success. In fact, students who read on grade level by third grade are more likely to graduate from high school, earn a livable wage, and stay out of the criminal justice system.

In 2004, in order to meet the needs of the growing community, the Read to Succeed program was brought to Nashville. At that time, the percentage of five-year-olds testing ready for school was 33%. United Way’s Read to Succeed program allows these at-risk children to learn early literacy skills that they otherwise wouldn’t have. This program focuses strongly on literacy, social-emotional development, and the components of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics). Additionally, Read to succeed has a strong home/school connection, as it is vital for children to have encouragement from their parents or family members to help build confidence.

This program offers highly-qualified instructional coaches, research-based curriculums, professional development, listening, writing & technology centers, parental engagement, lending libraries and participant assessments.

Children enrolled in this program have the opportunity to develop skills such as:

  • Oral language (vocabulary)
  • Phonological awareness (beginning sounds, rhyming, sound-letter correlation)
  • Print awareness (parts of a book, reading left to right, top to bottom, etc.)
  • Upper and lower case letter recognition
  • Inquiry (critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, etc.)
  • Self-regulation (taking turns, putting others before self, managing emotions, etc.)

Read to Succeed classrooms are located in multiple early childhood centers across Nashville.


Read to Succeed Sites:

Eighteenth Avenue Family Enrichment Center
1811 Osage Street
Nashville, TN 37208

Fannie Battle Day Home for Children
108 Chapel Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

First Steps, Inc.
1900 Graybar Lane
Nashville, TN 37215

King’s Daughters Child Development Center
590 N Dupont Avenue
Madison, TN 37115

McNeilly Center for Children
100 Meridian Street
Nashville, TN 37207

St. Luke’s Community House
5601 New York Avenue
Nashville, TN 37209

St. Mary Villa Child Development Center
1704 Heiman St.
Nashville, TN 37208

Wayne Reed Christian Childcare Center
11 Lindsley Avenue
Nashville, TN 37210


Thanks to Read to Succeed sponsor:

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