The ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority are always busy working in the community. This time they're encouraging young people to read. Last spring, the sorority challenged students at Garrison and Gadsden Elementary Schools to read 204 books each. Both schools hit the ground reading, in a big way.
Garrison students have read more than 8,000 books. Gadsden students completed another 5,000. Both schools have reason to celebrate. Karen Grant, Garrison's principal, said, "The earlier they read and learn to love reading, that's the most important part, the motivational aspect of the project. Letting them know that reading is fun and they can go all over the world and disciplines just by reading a book. These kids are on fire."
"They are becoming interested in reading," said Gadsden principal Dr. Delma Pollen. "They are checking out more books. They are going home asking their parents to read to them and I've had students to come and read to me."
This is exactly what the sorority was hoping would happen. "My hope and dream is that our children will have a greater love for reading and I'm thinking they'll start enjoying reading and read for pleasure, not just as a chore or assignment," said Carol Bell of AKA Sorority, Inc. "In a few years, reading will be second nature."
For their work to improve reading scores, the ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority capture the WTOC Community Spirit.
The contest does not end until May, so there are thousands of books yet to be read. The AKAs have also promised lots of great prizes for the winners. This is just one way the sorority is making a difference in the community.