Governor Lee, Tennessee Titans Take to Social Media to Kick Off Early Literacy Month with #TeamReadTN Challenge

September 1, 2020

Follow Tennessee’s biggest influencers on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook throughout September as they support Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation’s efforts to strengthen early literacy in Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Sept. 1, 2020) –  Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation (GELF, formerly Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation) today announced the launch of its Team Read TN (#TeamReadTN) campaign in support of Early Literacy Month this September. Tennessee’s most prominent and admired figures, including Governor Bill Lee and First Lady Maria Lee, Tennessee Titans staff and the Tennessee Titans Wives Association (TTWA) are supporting the campaign to promote children reading throughout Tennessee. With less than half of Tennessee third graders able to read proficiently, GELF is rallying Tennesseans to come together to strengthen early literacy and build lifelong learners statewide.

“This year, the importance of education and early literacy is even more critical to Tennessee’s future,” said Governor Bill Lee.  “A productive, healthy society begins with early literacy, and Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation (GELF) provides statewide access to the most fundamental tools for children and families—books.  We are kicking off Early Literacy Month and joining GELF’s ‘Team Read Tennessee’ to support and encourage children, parents and teachers in building lifelong learners for an educated Tennessee.”

“This Fall looks different on and off the field,” said Burke Nihill, Tennessee Titans President/CEO. “The same is true for classrooms this September, but together, we can be flexible and creative in how we move forward together, and not fall behind. The Titans organization is thrilled to join GELF’s Team Read TN, to share our favorite reading memories, and to inspire readers of all ages. We strongly believe early literacy is the best offense for a promising future.”

Tennesseans are encouraged to participate in the Team Read TN campaign with a challenge: post a message on their social channel of choice sharing the book or person that sparked their love of learning. Upon posting, participants can encourage friends and social figures with a call to action to join the challenge. Posts should include the hashtag #TeamReadTN. The campaign will engage participants across social platforms Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to promote lifelong learning.

Early Literacy Month has even greater significance this year as GELF programs are bridging even larger gaps with thousands of children in Tennessee navigating a different classroom environment this September. The statewide early literacy programs GELF sustains include Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, Storybook Trails, Book Buses, Caregiver Engagement and K-3 Book Delivery. Now more than ever, financial support of these programs is vital to connecting children with books and resources that support their literacy development. Invest in GELF’s efforts by making a donation here. For more information on becoming a statewide corporate sponsor or funding partner, email [email protected].

“We are facing one of the most unique and challenging periods in history, but our children are resilient and can continue to learn and thrive,” said James Pond, President of GELF. “We have programs and resources in place that every child in Tennessee can access and benefit from, but we need the community’s help in making sure families know what is available to them and raising funds to maintain these programs. We believe literacy is a birthright, and we are confident we can help shape a brighter future for Tennessee, from cradle to career. Join #TeamReadTN!”

About Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation (GELF)

The mission of Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation (GELF) is to strengthen early literacy in Tennessee by acting as a thought leader, advisor and catalyst to support and sustain early literacy programs for children statewide. These programs include Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, Storybook Trails, Book Buses, K-3rd Grade Summer Reading and Caregiver Engagement. GELF was founded in 2004 by former Gov. Phil Bredesen as a public-private partnership to sustain Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Tennessee, giving all birth to age five children the opportunity to receive books in the mail at no cost to families. GELF has grown from solely a book-gifting program to an early literacy organization driven by a vision where all Tennessee children have access to the resources, guidance and support they need to become lifelong learners. For more information, visit or, or call toll-free at (877) 99-BOOKS.