In Tennessee, 43% of students showed an increase in their English proficiency, leaving plenty of room for improvement.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – DeMor Books & Stuff is one of only four brick-and-mortar independent bookstores still here in Memphis. A year and a half after opening, it remains the only black-owned bookstore in the city.
Owner Jeremy DeMoir He is a former reading teacher working to help Memphians meet the mark. According to the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE), only 43% of students demonstrate English proficiency.
A state report card released last month showed that more than half of third-graders are likely to retake the school year.
This is for a reason. New Government Literacy Act 3rd grade students Those who do not perform well on regular tests must repeat third grade, go to summer school, or attend tutoring.
of Report tracks student achievement Between kindergarten and 12th grade. TDOE says 34% of students Scores high enough to at least “meet expectations” on state English and math tests.
That’s up from 28 percent last year, but more than half of students are at risk of falling behind.
As the book “From the Womb” reads when his mother finds out she’s pregnant, Demoir says it’s a lack of access that’s widening the gap.
“Books are expensive,” says DeMoir. “When most parents choose to feed their child or buy books, sometimes it’s an easy decision, so there’s a big difference,” DeMoir said.
It’s a difference that some say requires an “all-hands-on-deck approach.”
While MSSS implemented before- and after-school tutoring with fall, winter and spring “learning academies,” DeMoir used his business to provide books to students.
The store’s partnership with Literacy in the Mid-South, a group dedicated to teaching reading skills to people of all ages, offers free books to under 17s. All they have to do is walk into his store.
It is an effort to make the youth “lifelong readers”.
“Support your child in what they love,” DeMoir said. “A lot of times it’s as simple as getting your favorite TV shows in a different media format. My kids – they love Paw Patrol, and guess what, they have tons of Paw Patrol books.”
In addition to making books a part of students’ lives by engaging their benefits, DeMoir cautions readers (and parents) against “learning loss” during vacations or holidays.
“It’s called learning loss, and it’s like a bank account,” DeMoir said. “For many children, they keep the information in their bank. [so to speak]And then immediately leaves when it’s time to stop.
DeMoir sees the books he carries, often armed with classics like “Like” to represent the diversity of Memphis to young readers.If Holiday Street Could Talk and local staples like “Opal Lee” and “What It Means to Be Free: The True Story of Juneteenth’s Grandpa.” He said these books are tools in the fight against illiteracy.
“When we think about literacy and the lack of it and the impact of that, there’s this huge thing that oppresses our society,” Demoir said. There is a greater mission and calling than making sure we have dollars.