Tenn Under 10 Logo

Celebrating Tennessee’s youngest learners on their literacy journey from cradle to career

Overview

Through Tenn Under 10, powered by PNC, Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation (GELF) selects 10 Tennessee 3rd graders to serve as GELF’s literacy ambassadors each year and receive a post-secondary education scholarship, based on their ability to overcome obstacles along their literacy journey from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.”

Honorees will serve as GELF’s “Little Literacy Leader” ambassadors and will be featured in GELF’s marketing and communications for the year, including but not limited to video production, social media, outreach to press, etc. In support of the “cradle to career” journey, Tenn Under 10, powered by PNC, promotes the lifelong role of literacy and grants more Tennessee children access to experience this journey.

Goals

  • Collect literacy stories from children and families to raise awareness of GELF’s mission to strengthen early literacy in Tennessee.
  • Celebrate and reward children in becoming passionate readers, inside and outside of the classroom.
  • Encourage more children to become engaged, active readers by showcasing their peers as role models from different Tennessee communities, ethnicities, and backgrounds.

Who qualifies for “Tenn Under 10?”

Tenn Under 10, powered by PNC, candidates are Tennessee third grade students from communities across the state who have overcome obstacles on their literacy journey. For example, candidates may have experienced struggles in learning to read, lack of access to books, resources, or a literacy-rich environment, learning disability, etc.

Specific qualifications include:

  • Candidate must be a Tennessee 3rd grader during the 2023-2024 academic school year, enrolled in a Tennessee public or charter school.
  • Application must be submitted by school or school district by January 26, 2024.
  • Candidate must have faced and overcome an obstacle relating to or impeding their literacy development or access to literacy-rich resources or environment.
  • Candidate should exhibit the four key values of “Tenn Under 10.”

Four Key Values

Tenaciously driven
Eager to read
Noticeably growing
Nonstop learner

How it Works

Tennessee public school districts and elementary schools will be given the opportunity to nominate a child by submitting an online application on their behalf. There is not a limit on the number of children each school and/ or district can nominate, but there will be an emphasis on candidates from different communities across the state during the selection process. For privacy, candidates’ personally identifiable information will be redacted during the review process. Following final selections, all nominees and respective nominating parties will be notified.

If selected, each honoree’s caregiver/parent will be given access to create a TNStars College Savings 529 Program scholarship account, a post-secondary savings program managed by the Tennessee Department of Treasury. A scholarship of at least $1,000, provided by GELF, will be deposited in their account and invested until used following the student’s high school graduation or GED equivalent.

Caregivers/parents will be provided detailed instructions from TNStars to submit an application to create the required TNStars account for the scholarship funds. Each honoree’s caregiver/parent must submit the application within 30 days of being notified of their child being selected; failure to complete the paperwork to establish the TNStars account will result in their child forfeiting their selection as an honoree. Caregivers/parents will not be able to make additional contributions to this TNStars scholarship account but will be able to create a separate private TNStars account for any additional desired contributions.

TNStars is designed to help families set aside funds for future post-secondary costs. Named after Section 529 of the IRS Code that created them, 529 Plans are open to everyone and offer special tax advantages. TNStars is managed by the Tennessee Department of Treasury, who monitors the plan’s investment options. Funds in a TNStars account can be used at any postsecondary school that can accept federal financial aid including: four-year universities, private colleges, community colleges, technical schools, and out-of-state schools. Funds can be used for expenses required for attendance & enrollment including: books, computers, fees, room and board, equipment, and supplies.

Caregiver/Parent and Selected Honoree’s Responsibilities

If selected, there will be responsibilities of the honoree, caregiver/parent, school, and/or school district. By submitting this application, all parties are adhering to the below responsibilities.

  • Each honoree will be asked to fill-out a reading questionnaire on their favorite books and reading habits.
  • Caregivers/parents will be provided detailed instructions from TNStars to submit an application to create the required TNStars account for the scholarship funds. Caregiver/ parent must submit the application within 30 days of being notified of their child being selected; failure to complete the paperwork to establish the TNStars account will result in their child forfeiting their selection as an honoree.
  • There will be training and support in place from the school and/or school district for caregivers/parents in setting up this account.
  • Caregivers/parents will not be able to make additional contributions to this TNStars scholarship account but will be able to create a separate TNStars account for any additional desired contributions.
  • Permission for photo/video release is required.
  • Each honoree and their caregiver/parent must be available to capture and submit video and photography to GELF as well as be available for GELF to conduct video and photography in their local community. The school and/ or district agree to support caregivers/parents with this if needed.
  • Each honoree, their caregiver/parent, and nominating party will be invited to attend GELF’s annual event in Nashville in April 2024 as part of the public announcement if their schedule permits. GELF will provide accommodations and cover travel expenses.
  • Each honoree and their school as well as school district must help promote the announcement through their channels including but not limited to local press outreach and social media.
Owl wearing graduation cap and holding a diploma

Timeline

Application Open

Nov 1, 2023–Jan 26, 2024

Selection Process

Mid-February 2024

Honorees Notified

End of February 2024

Public Announcement
at Dinner Event

April 2024

School Visit Celebrations

Mid-April to Mid-May 2024

For more information, email us at
[email protected].