The Volunteer State Seal of Biliteracy began in 2018 when Nashville educators brought the award program to Tennessee to support and celebrate their learners' linguistic assets. Since then, the award program has grown across the state and approximately 1,200 students have received the Seal of Biliteracy award at more than 50 participating schools. We believe that students, community members, and educators are capable and effective leaders in equitable practices and advocacy and seek to grow opportunities for professional and academic leadership for all stakeholders through our work.
Our Core Values
We believe that language matters for all students in Tennessee!
We believe that funding at the school or district level should not be a barrier for students and educators. All award materials, support, and training are available at no cost for public and public charter schools in Tennessee. Independent and parochial schools are asked to pay a small annual fee to participate in the award program.
We believe that all languages and communities are worthy of celebration and recognition. All state and nationally recognized English language and World language assessments are eligible for the Volunteer State Seal of Biliteracy and we collaborate with state and national organizations to provide portfolio options for languages where assessments are not currently available.
We believe that language learning and community building is a lifelong journey. Through fostering discussions around equity, language, and resources across our state, we hope to encourage schools and districts to both recognize and honor the linguistic assets students already possess and to support additional pathways and coursework towards world language proficiency across our state from elementary through post-secondary.
We believe that educators are leaders and experts in their field. Our work is led and directed by active educators who see the need for additional support and opportunities for students across the state to pursue true multilingual fluency and to connect these assets with college and career opportunities after graduation.