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United Way of Greater Knoxville to get $4.5 million grant for tutoring programs

The grant is part of $27 million in total from the Tennessee Department of Education, given to establish tutoring programs across the state.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The United Way of Greater Knoxville received millions of dollars Thursday to create a tutoring program helping around 3,000 students, according to a  release from the Tennessee Department of Education.

They said the United Way of Knoxville received $4.5 million in a Tennessee Accelerating Literacy and Learning Corps Community Partner Grant. It was part of $27 million given by the department to five organizations across the state.

With the money, they will recruit and hire tutors while coordinating with school districts across the region to help tutor students between first grade and eighth grade. The United Way is expected to follow the state's "high-dosage, low-ratio" model for tutoring.

English Language Arts and math tutoring will be given in small groups to students who are not part of the existing TN ALL Corps programs. According to a release, the tutoring will be given at a 1:3 adult-to-student ratio in grades up to fifth grade.

For sixth grade through eighth grade, they will tutor students at a 1:4 ratio.

"Our team is eager to begin this powerful intervention work to get students back on track,” said Matt Ryerson, CEO of United Way Greater Knoxville. “While this is a win for us and our partners, it's most importantly a win for the kids in East Tennessee that will receive focused tutoring, caring mentors, and a community of folks cheering them on."

The state education department also gave $4.5 million each to the United Way of Greater Nashville, the United Way of Greater Chattanooga and Literacy Mid-South. Each will be expected to serve around 3,000 students.

The Niswonger Foundation in Northeast Tennessee also received $9 million to help tutor around 6,000 students.

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