Ivey speaks at Alabama Reading Summit

Published 2:34 pm Friday, February 25, 2022

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By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

The Alabama Literacy Alliance held its Alabama Reading Summit at the Chilton County campus of Jefferson State Community College on Feb. 24.

The event serves as a way for educators, community literacy leaders and state officials working in education to meet and gain information.

Among the guest speakers were Gov. Kay Ivey and local literacy advocate Liz Huntley.

During her speech, Ivey thanked the alliance for its work and re-iterated the importance of reading and a good education to the future of the state.

“I am telling you that our students having success in their educational journeys is literally the key for everything we do as a state and nation,” Ivey said. “Alabama is tired of complacency when it comes to our educational stats, as am I. And I am looking at our students as more than just statistics. I care about improving education in Alabama, because I want to be sure every single Alabamian has the chance to earn a good wage one day to provide for their families. I want to be sure that we have enough nurses and engineers. I want to be sure we have highly qualified teachers to educate those future nurses and engineers. I want to be sure our citizens remain productive.”

She also highlighted that Alabama is one of the states that is “leading the way in getting things back to normal” following the disruptions to learning caused during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reading proficiency by third grade has been a focus for state education requirements in recent years after the passing of the Alabama Literacy Act.

“The Alabama Literacy Act is one of the ways to help our students – it will provide professional learning in reading for every educator and expands access to high-quality after school programs for every child in Alabama,” Ivey said. “ … As we wrap up February and head into National Reading Month, let us remind ourselves what a difference a love of reading can have on a child. For me ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ will always be a personal favorite, so, I hope to continue helping Alabama children discover theirs.”

Ivey also spoke of future partnerships through the Department of Early Childhood and Children’s Policy Councils to best serve the children of the state and equip them for a bright future.