This event took place:
Thursday February 18th
10:00AM to 11:30AM CST

Video recording, session notes, and links to resources are available for Members of our TVW Learning Community.

View Recording & Session Notes

In the city of Nashville, Tennessee three out of four third grade children are not reading on grade level; a challenge Nashville has wrestled with for more than two decades. This is the story of a collaborative design event that suffered setbacks ranging from a devastating tornado to a global pandemic and decades of systemic racism. Yet the community remains committed to dramatically improve the local literacy rate in five years.

Join us as the co-facilitators share the technology, tools, and methods used to facilitate this year-long engagement.


In 2019, the United Way of Greater Nashville had a problem.

The organization had been designated as the “backbone” for coordinating and implementing The Blueprint for Early Childhood Success, a city-wide framework for literacy that aims to double the number of third graders reading at grade level by 2025.

The problem was that this blueprint had been drafted several years earlier, mostly by policymakers and academics without input from community members, parents, students, or teachers.

In the effort to convene a collaborative community engagement process, the United Way contacted Angela Wiggins to co-design and facilitate a two-day, in-person DesignShop® event.

The Systemic Challenge of Literacy

Why does third-grade reading matter? 

When a child misses this early milestone, their chances of success are dramatically curtailed.

  • One in six drop out of high school without a diploma.

  • They earn half the annual income of their peers.

  • They have higher incidences of arrest or incarceration.

The team knew there was great work being done in the city and across the nation. Their goal was to unify those efforts and best practices into a cohesive and actionable plan for Nashville.

Through four events over four months, participants were challenged to think bigger, dig deeper and come up with a plan to accelerate action.


The Hosts

Angela Wiggins is the founder of Earnest Journey, an International Coaching Federation Professional Certified leadership coach, International Coaching Community Certified Executive Coach, Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator, and MGTaylor DesignShop® Method Practitioner. 

Holly Grathoff is a Growth Consultant & Leadership Development Facilitator, and MGTaylor DesignShop® Method Practitioner. Linkedin

Peter Durand is an artist, educator, and visual facilitator. He serves as a board member of The Value Web and community managers for our TVW Learning Community.

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