What is literacy?

Having the ability to search, identify, understand, interpret, enjoy, create, compute, and communicate using physical, visual, audible, and digital materials and texts across disciplines and in any context.

Why a "Coalition"?

Because literacy is key to an individual's self-development. It is common to hear “knowledge is power.” We believe that by gaining empowering literacy skills, from birth through their school years, children will acquire enduring skills and knowledge, offering them a greater sense of agency in life as they grow and mature into adults - working, learning, being a family member, and becoming a part of the community. It is through literacy that children can build strong identities, conceive of powerful dreams, and think through their efforts to reach for them.

Alcoa's students deserve the power of their community, working with their schools, lifting them, pushing them, and strategically giving them every chance to succeed, from their earliest years onward. Join us in a community coalition committed to our children's literacy growth and success.

What are its goals?

Raise our community's AWARENESS of the need to improve students' reading and literacy skills.

Raise our community's ABILITY to help our students improve reading and literacy skills.

Raise our community's level of literacy building ACTION, especially for children from birth to 8th grade.


Collaborative awareness, ability, and action


If we join, what are we committing to?

Help promote early childhood literacy.

Help promote Tennessee’s literacy learning standards.

Support and engage with the schools, by volunteering, by using the schools’ resources, and/or by supporting the schools’ instruction and outreach efforts.

Consider participating in grant activities.

Help identify new ways of having a community-based impact on literacy.

How do we join?

There are several ways.

Talk with Monique Maples, Michelle Knight, or Scott Porter (Principals of Alcoa Elementary, Intermediate, and Middle Schools)

Contact the Alcoa City Schools at 865-984-0531; ask for Dr. John Campbell.

Click here to complete a request for more information or to sign up.

Need a reason to be concerned?

Here is one:

Some 1st graders know 5,000 words.

They may have classmates, in the same class, sitting next to them, who know 20,000 words.

(Moats, 2001)

Here is a second:

Vocabulary of 1st graders, tested orally, has been shown to be predictive of reading comprehension TEN YEARS LATER.

(Cunnningham and Stanovich, 1997)

And here is a third:

ƒ Children need to learn 2,000 to 3,000 new words each year from 3rd grade onward, about 6–8 per day. ƒ

In 1st and 2nd grade, children need to learn 800+ words per year, about 2 per day. ƒ

Children who are behind by 1st grade have a hard time making up the gap.

(Moats, 2001)

Our COMMUNITY, not just our schools, can teach vocabulary and engage our children in social, literacy building activity, exercises, and interactions. Our COMMUNITY can make sure Alcoa's kids are prepared for school and succeed in school, with powerful literacy skills.

“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world”