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The importance of literacy

There is no understating how important the ability to read is. Being able to crack open a book and learn something or be taken to a new world is an often overlooked skill.

Recently, Five Point Elementary School applied for and received a $2,000 grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

The grant is part of approximately $3.4 million that the Literacy Foundation awarded to 915 schools across the country. Five Point’s school library media specialist Tawanda Shaw said that the school will be putting all funds directly back into helping students as part of this year’s “Start with Books, Stay with Books and End with Books” reading incentive program.

Shaw, who applied for the grant, said that similar reading incentive programs happen each year, encouraging students to read books and take “accelerated reading” tests to earn points for recognition. She said that the grant money will allow the school to encourage more reading by providing a wider variety of books.

According to the University of Alabama at Birmingham, illiteracy remains a problem in Alabama. According to the school, 15 percent of Alabamians are functionally illiterate.

Any and all efforts to fight this trend should be applauded and with two exemplary public libraries and several school facilities in place around the Greater Valley Area, no local child should be incapable of reading.

We all should remember the importance of literacy.