Literacy the focus of BBPLA on Saturday

Published 7:54pm Friday, June 7, 2013

In an effort to increase literacy in Selma and Dallas County, the Black Belt Parent Leadership Academy will host Literacy Day Saturday to promote reading.

William Waheed, coordinator of leadership for BBPLA, said the academy decided to host Literacy Day because they saw a lack of reading and other fundamental skills in area youth.

“This is the first time, in the Black Belt region, that we have decided to take a day and dedicate it to the idea of literacy among our children,” Waheed said. “It’s a day for just all adults to take time and read to a child.”

Through simply reading to a child, Waheed said parents can make an extreme impact on their future. Reading, he said, is something that can change a community for the better.

“Research has shown that a child’s development — their thinking and speaking ability — is directly impacted from the stimulation of words, numbers and involvement with adults,” Waheed said. “Reading to children as young as 2 years old makes an impact on how they will be able to read as an adult.”

Throughout the day, Waheed said adults are encouraged to read at least one book to a child, or let a child read a book to them.

“Literacy is our lifeline, it can help transform the whole Black Belt region and end some of the drop out problems, some of the health problems — the prime issues,” Waheed said.

And because BBLA feels so strongly about literacy and its importance to area children, Waheed said the Alabama House of Representatives has officially recognized June 9 as Black Belt Literacy Day.

“We think it’s great that it’s getting such high recognition,” Waheed said of the proclamation. “We hope residents take this day to heart and actually read to children. There is a severe lack of literacy in the Black Belt and we need to keep shining a spotlight on it. We can all do something to improve the future of our children.”

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