College sorority sisters Dr. Dee Dupree Bennett and Monica Anderson Young came together with the idea of SHORT the Squirrel to help Alabama’s youngest residents learn to read and write.
Alabama courtrooms do not allow gadgets inside.
It led Attorney McRae Young to come up with the literacy program.
Young and Monica’s daughter noticed that youngsters attending court lacked resources to occupy themselves.
Years ago, McRAE and Monica co-wrote an online column for young readers specializing in children’s books.
Monica’s experience as a former school principal and Troy University professor helped her recruit Dr. Bennett to create an activity booklet.
Both ladies came up with SHORT, a curious squirrel that wants to assist youngsters in learning more about their immediate environment.
In 2020, Governor Kay Ivey approved the Alabama Literacy Act, which mandates that all Alabama students be able to read at least grade level by the end of third grade.
In less than two years, Governor Ivey has declared SHORT the official literacy symbol of Alabama.
SHORT will be riding in flower parades with reading fairies and handing out booklets around the events in celebration of Mardi Gras.
SHORT in Court is now in 67 Alabama counties.
The Alabama Securities Commission also sponsored SHORT’s Money Tree.
Furthermore, SHORT also offers waiting rooms under their SHORT Gets Sick program.
Another program that SHORT introduced is SHORT Recycles, which teaches students the importance of the environment.
Before and throughout the Mardi Gras season, SHORT plans to visit Mobile area schools to help teachers inspire a love of reading.
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