Tonight’s Discussion on Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline Through Literacy

Wow. Today is the day. I have been planning for a community discussion on literacy since October 2017 — in my head, at least. It was then that the literacy crisis in Nashville became real for me. I was sitting in the very spot in which I am writing this post, mining through the 2017 TNReady data and I noticed teardrops on my keyboard. Sounds … Continue reading Tonight’s Discussion on Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline Through Literacy

Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Libraries in the Community

The singular mission of Volume & Light is to amplify and spotlight issues and innovations that impact Nashville families. Take a stroll through my blog-ventory and you’ll see sharp-elbowed titles about literacy, unearned privilege, charters schools, and Project LIT (Libraries in the) Community. Yes, Project LIT Community (PLC) is assigned its very own category and I don’t care. So, of course, when I plan a … Continue reading Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Libraries in the Community

Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Excellence in 37208

Just as Nashville was shedding it’s “It” status and burgeoning as the Bachelorette Party Capitol of the world, the Brookings Institution released a report about Music City USA that sent shockwaves throughout the community. Black men born between 1980 and 1986 in the 37208 zip code have the highest incarceration rates in the country. Let me paint a picture: 37208 known as North Nashville is … Continue reading Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Excellence in 37208

Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline Through Literacy

Two years ago this month, the Nashville Literacy Collaborative, a large group of Nashville’s socio-political elite assembled to announce a blueprint to double the number of 3rd graders reading on grade level by 2025. Currently, 28.8 percent of 3rd graders are reading “on track” or “mastered,” Black students 19.2 percent, and Economically Disadvantaged 15.2 percent. The Collaborative’s stated goal is to double these percentages in … Continue reading Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline Through Literacy

Vesia Wilson-Hawkins

In the Last Decade, A Lot Has Happened in Tennessee Education, Not Much Has Changed

In the 2018 audio documentary Hard Words, Emily Hanford shattered the age-old phonics versus whole language debate with cutting scientific evidence that leaves little room to doubt that phonics is to reading what atoms are to every-thing. Central to Hanford’s report and the resulting national discourse is the failure of colleges of education to prepare future teachers on how to teach reading. At a Loss … Continue reading In the Last Decade, A Lot Has Happened in Tennessee Education, Not Much Has Changed

Nashville Teachers’ Fight For Respect Began With A March, Now They’re Walkin’

Volume and Light is a blog focused on the families that invest in Nashville public education’s promise. The blog’s owner [meeee] is a Black woman, former public school student, parent, and staffer whose lens is informed by her experiences. I write, advocate, and work for families whose voices are forced into the void. I do these things because 30 years of personal and professional experience … Continue reading Nashville Teachers’ Fight For Respect Began With A March, Now They’re Walkin’

It’s Just Literacy, No Big Deal

In August 2017, former Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced the Read to be Ready program with an ambitious goal of 75 percent of all third-graders reading at or above grade level in the year 2025. In response to the news, I wrote: “…in eight years Tennessee promises all but 25% of its third graders will be able to read at grade level. We … Continue reading It’s Just Literacy, No Big Deal