Bright Start TN

A promising start for Chattanooga/Hamilton County

Chattanooga 2.0, the cradle-to-career collaborative of Chattanooga-Hamilton County, is coordinating the Bright Start TN Chattanooga/Hamilton County partnership. Bright Start TN builds on the foundational work that has already taken place as part of Chattanooga 2.0’s Early Matters – Hamilton County’s early childhood strategy action team that has been working to create a coordinated early childhood system for the last five years.

Learn more about Chattanooga 2.0 and Early Matters at

“Early Matters’ efforts to champion early care and education from birth through third grade is impressive, and we are honored to be chosen as an inaugural Bright Start TN Network partner. I’m pleased to report that Hamilton County Schools actually saw a small increase in third graders reading at grade level during the pandemic. However, we still have a sense of urgency to increase our early literacy rates such that all children thrive and experience a future without limits. Though educators play an important role, our families and our community are critical partners toward ensuring that every child learns to read early and well. Alignment and coordination of child-serving organizations are integral to our community’s success, and the Bright Start Tennessee Network will help accelerate this work in Hamilton County.”

— Interim Superintendent of Hamilton County Schools Dr. Nakia Towns

Chattanooga/Hamilton County Leadership Team

Jennifer Andrews
Bright Start Fellow, Director of Early Childhood Strategies for Chattanooga 2.0

Tracy Bryant
Deputy Program Officer, Signal Centers Inc.

Jessica Cliché
Director of Community Education & Engagement, La Paz Chattanooga

Allen Coffman
Pediatrician, Highland Pediatrics


Jayne Griffen
Director of Education, Creative Discovery Museum

Katie Harbison
President/CEO, Chambliss Center for Children

Heather Hicks
Executive Director, Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R)

Jenny Hill
Councilwoman, Chattanooga City Council

Lee Hope
Head of Children’s & Youth Services, Chattanooga Public Library

Karitsa Jones
Community Forward Program Director, City of Chattanooga

Kristen McCallie
Executive Director, HC Children’s Advocacy Center

Celeste McKenzie
MidTown Schools Exceptional Education Supervisor, Hamilton County Schools

Courtney Mott
Director of State & Electoral Campaigns, Save the Children Action Network

Neelie Parker
Chief of Schools, Hamilton County Schools

Dr. Jeffrey Wilson
Pastor, New United Baptist Church

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