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Troy football and nonprofit ‘team-up’ to encourage youth literacy

SHORT the Squirrel promotes literacy in Alabama youth.
SHORT the Squirrel promotes literacy in Alabama youth.(Contributed)
Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 7:09 PM CDT
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TROY, Ala. (WSFA) - Troy University football took time to assemble literacy kits to send to children in the state.

The team “teamed up” with SHORT the Squirrel, a nonprofit which promotes reading to Alabama youth.

“It shows children all across the state that even D1 athletes think it is important to read as a child and to make it a priority throughout your life,” SHORT’s project manager Sierra Champion said.

Each kit contained a bookmark, crayons as well as a copy of the group’s new book “Short gets Sick.” The book is being debuted at Children’s of Alabama on Friday to comfort kids visiting with doctors.

“‘SHORT gets Sick’ will help the children at Children’s Hospital by alleviating any fears that children might have in the emergency room because SHORT is there to help them through it,” Champion said.

The book will detail some of the steps typically taken at the hospital, such as checking temperature, looking at blood pressure and speaking with staff.

“When they are waiting, they will know what to expect while they are there,” she said.

The program promotes literacy everywhere - Switching devices for books. Champion said courtrooms and grocery store lines were two examples.

“It is significant for children to read while they have to wait instead of occupying theirselves with electronics or other things,” she said.

Champion said the program “follows perfectly in line” with the Alabama Literacy Act.

“We are here to serve Alabama’s youngest citizens to encourage their love for reading,” she added.

More information is available on the SHORT the Squirrel website.

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