Bright Start TN

A promising partnership for Nashville/Davidson County

The United Way of Greater Nashville (UWGN) is coordinating the Bright Start TN Nashville partnership. The partnership will build on the Blueprint for Early Childhood Success, a literacy-focused collective impact initiative with a goal of unifying community-wide efforts and best practices into a cohesive and actionable plan for Nashville.

Learn more about the United Way of Greater Nashville and the Blueprint for Early Childhood Success.

“Despite the tremendous efforts of teachers, families and students, three out of four Nashville third graders are not reading on grade level. Through Bright Start Tennessee, we look forward to working alongside communities across Tennessee to implement data-driven and evidence-informed practices, share learnings, and shape state policy that better supports a continuum of high- quality early care and education birth through third grade.”

— Erica Mitchell, Executive Vice President and Chief Community Impact Officer, United Way of Greater Nashville

Nashville/Davidson County Leadership Team

Angie Adams
President and CEO, PENCIL

Elizabeth Atack
Program Manager, Nashville Public Library

Adrienne Battle
Director of Schools, Metro Nashville Public Schools

Mason Bellamy
Chief of Academics and Schools, Metro Nashville Public Schools

Jessica Benton
Consultant and Co-Founder, Elevate

Amy Campbell
Consultant and Co-Founder, Elevate

Kimberly Carter Jordan
Teacher, Metro Nashville Public Schools

Kristen Davis
President and CEO, Nurture the Next

Apri Gassaway
Director of Education, United Way of Greater Nashville

Linda Harrison
Assistant Director for Education and Literacy, Nashville Public Library

Tremayne Haymer

Brianna Healy
Executive Vice President, Boedecker Foundation

Dean Hoskins
Vice President, Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation

Melissa Jaggers
President and CEO, Alignment Nashville

Dustin Jones

Richard Kennedy
Executive Director, TN Commission on Children and Youth

Tara Lentz
Interim Co-Executive Director, Conexion Americas

Lauren Lunsford
Associate Dean and Professor of Education, Belmont University

Erin Merryman

Rachael Milligan
Assistant Dean and Director, Ayer’s Institute at Lipscomb University

Erica Mitchell
Executive Vice President and Chief Community Impact Officer, United Way of Greater Nashville

Jared Myracle
Senior Director of ELA, Literacy and Humanities, TN Department of Educaiton

Megan Parker Peters
Interim Associate Dean, Lipscomb University

Jason Picanzo
Lieutenant, Metro Nashville Police Department

Susan Porter
Instructional Coach, Metro Nashville Public Schools

Paige Shapiro
Senior Program Manager, Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation

Melanie Shinbaum
Chief Executive Officer, St. Luke’s Community House

Melissa Spradlin
Executive Director, Book’em

David Williams
Executive Officer of Teaching and Learning, Metro Nashville Public Schools

Rikki Harris
Chief Executive Officer, Tennessee Voices for Children


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