In July, Glenwood Elementary, students, teachers, administrators, and board members had the pleasure of hosting Tennessee’s First Lady, Crissy Haslam, in the summer Read to be Ready grant program.

Glenwood is one of 12 recipients of this grant, which encourages students to read at least 20 minutes per day to prevent “summer slide,” a term used to describe the regression that happens when students don’t read books over the summer months.

Earlier this year, in conjunction with the launch of the statewide Read to be Ready Campaign, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation gave a $1 million gift to the department to award for summer reading programs over the next three years.

This spring, the department received over two hundred proposals and selected 12 summer programs from across the state to receive funding.

While Mrs. Haslam was at Glenwood, the students told her about the career-focused units they have been studying, including “Reading Like a Zoologist,” “Reading Like an Artist,” and “Reading Like a Geologist.” This week, they have been reading in a cave with headlamps, and learning with a local geologist, Mr. Wilder (husband of Glenwood’s own Nadine Wilder). Students invited the First Lady into their cave to read a book as well.

Gwen Harrell and Amelia Bell’s (administrators) notable adjective today was “motivating.” The most inspirational factor of this experience so far has been to see students be motivated to read. We will see the data in the fall to numerically show student progress, but for now, watching students’ desire to read increase has been encouraging to students and staff alike.

In support of this program, First Lady Crissy Haslam visited the recipients and read two books:  A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd of Chattanooga, and What Pet Should I Get? by Dr. Seuss.


A Snicker of Magi­c

by  Natalie Lloyd

Midnight Gulch, Tennessee used to be a magical place. It was a town where people could sing up thunderstorms and dance up sunflowers. But that was long ago, before a curse drove the magic away. Twelve-year-old Felicity Pickle knows all about things like that; her nomadic mother is cursed with a wandering heart.

But when they arrive in Midnight Gulch, Felicity thinks her luck is about to change. Being a “word collector,” Felicity has always seen words everywhere—shining above strangers, tucked into church eves, and tangled up her dog’s floppy ears—but Midnight Gulch is the first place she’s ever seen the word “home.” In order to be able to stay in Midnight Gulch, Felicity will need to figure out how to bring back the magic, breaking the spell that’s been cast over the town and her mother’s broken heart.

A Note from the First Lady:

Dear Read20 Book Club families,

I hope you are having a terrific summer! This is a fun time to read, and it’s also critical for success. Over a number of years, children who do not read over the summer can have a serious achievement gap from their peers who do. Just twenty minutes of daily reading can help keep students stay on track for success! Don’t forget that your local public library is a great resource for books! They also offer summer reading programs to help students be ready for upcoming school year.

This month, we are excited to feature as the book of the month A Snicker of Magic written by Natalie Lloyd, a local Tennessee author who lives in Chattanooga. A Snicker of Magic is a unique story about self-expression and the magic that lives in one’s heart and mind. Families will love this whimsical, creative, and bewitching book that is actually set in a mythical Tennessee city called Midnight Gulch!

Keep up the great reading,

Crissy Haslam
First Lady of Tennessee