AKA partners with Reading Is Fundamental on Literacy Initiative

Published 12:15 pm Wednesday, May 23, 2018

By James Jones
The Selma Times-Journal

The Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority’s chapter in Selma is partnering with Reading Is Fundamental to promote reading to early grade students for the second straight year.
The AKA’s Zeta Eta Omega Chapter announced Tuesday a RIF literacy program to 70 second graders at Southside Primary School. The Read for Success program officially starts next month.

Each of the second-graders received six books to read during the summer, a book bag and a reading journal. NBA superstar LeBron James was among the most popular books given to kids.

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Each of the classroom teachers were given a set of books with suggested activities to motivate students to read books.

RIF local coordinator Nancy Sewell, who spent 43 years as a librarian, stressed the importance of reading to the students.

“In order to be successful, you have to learn how to read,” Sewell said. “With so many students reading at or below the basic level needed to succeed academically, the need for programs like Read for Success to combat the summer learning slide is as great as ever to ensure students remain proficient in reading all year long.”

Gwendolyn Carrington, a member of the Zeta Eta Omega Chapter, believes the program can help the students develop strong reading habits.

“Our students will have the potential in Selma to become successful readers and improve their academic performance,” Carrington said. “This program uses sound principles to motivate students to read and discover the joy of books.”

Southside Primary School Principal Brenda Mitchell appreciates the RIF program and what it brings to the youth.

“It means a lot to our students as well as promotes good reading,” Mitchell said. “The program gives the kids a chance to read over the summer.”

Southside Primary School librarian Monica Gayle believes the literacy program brings a creative aspect to the students.

“Reading exposes a young child to so many wonderful things that help their imagination when it comes to creating and thinking,” Gayle said. “By reading, you get to paint those pictures of the story in your mind. Books can take us anywhere we want to go.”

Sewell is the mother of Alabama Congresswoman Terri Sewell.