Making the community literate

Published 6:09 pm Wednesday, January 30, 2019

It’s next to impossible to find a good paying job or be successful without the ability to read and write. Unfortunately, many students never get the building blocks required to build reading skills and comprehension and fall behind classmates, never to catch up.

Thankfully, there are many people in this community doing everything they can to raise reading scores in LaGrange and Troup County. Debbie Burdette, who is better known as Mama Jama, is leading the charge. As she says, she’s trying to make education the “buzz word” in Troup County. 

Burdette is also the executive director of the Troup County Certified Literate Community Program, which is working hard to promote community-wide literacy and enhance the quality of literacy in our community.

There are many other examples of initiatives in this community working to improve literacy.

For example, the Jungle Bus is highly visible and appears at community events and stops at schools to provide books to students all around the community.

This past weekend the Leggin’ it for Literacy 5K was held. The event raised money to help people take the GED test. After the race, another little free library was opened on The Thread, making it easy for anyone to have access to books. Earlier this week, Burdette was at Lafayette Christian School giving out dictionaries to third graders.

In our schools, literacy has been a big focus. Teachers and administrators are working hard to raise literacy scores, which were below state average in the Career and College Readiness Performance Index.

Burdette is right when she says that it’s going to take a communitywide effort to improve reading scores in our schools. Thankfully, she and others are working really hard to ensure that happens.