Nonprofit Spotlight: Read to Succeed | Atmos Energy
Nonprofit Spotlight: Read to Succeed

Nonprofit Spotlight: Read to Succeed

Nonprofit Spotlight
September 1, 2020

The U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy estimate that 32 million adults in the United States cannot readwhich limits those Americans’ ability to understand, evaluate, use and engage with written texts to participate in society, achieve one’s goals, and develop one’s knowledge and potentialRead To Succeed in Rutherford County aims to confront this issue directly by empowering Tennesseans who struggle with reading through free literacy programs and events for adults and children.  

Established in 2003, Read To Succeed fosters literacy partnerships between providers, educators, community helpers and business owners and creates events and programming to promote literacy.  Read To Succeed also provides online resources including the Literacy Center and website for area youth, families, and teachers. 

Funded by donations from individuals, businesses and grantsRead To Succeed accomplishments in 2019 were significant 

  • served 1,145 elementary students and family members through their Family Literacy Nights 

  • tutored 54 adult learners to improve reading skillswith 64 percent of those beginning at or below a third grade reading level  

  • provided 49 English as a Second Language classes throughout Rutherford County and taught 452 English as Second Language learners who represented 48 countries 

  • donated more than 12,500 books through family literacy and community events 

  • volunteered 9,907 hours 

“Atmos Energy began its partnership with Read To Succeed in 2018 through a $5,000 sponsorship of their annual Celebrity Spelling Bee,” said Brannon Taylor, Atmos Energy manager of public affairs. “One out of six Rutherford County adults struggles with literacy, so we are here to help change that by providing the necessary resources to combat illiteracy.” 

Since 2006, the annual Celebrity Spelling Bee has raised funds to support Read To Succeed’s literacy programs and crown Rutherford County’s best orthographer.  The event includes a silent auction, dinner, and a popular spelling bee competition where local community leaders are selected to showcase their spelling skills.  

“Our community partner, Atmos Energy, helps us continue our mission and knows that literacy is imperative to a child’s future success,” said Jolene Radnoti, Read To Succeed executive director. “Because of this, we can continue to put books in the hands, hearts and minds of children in our community.” 

To learn more about Read To Succeed and give the gift of literacy visit