Kay Ivey delivers books to Chisholm Elementary school

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Photo Credit: Kay Ivey

Gov. Kay Ivey on Wednesday visited Chisholm Elementary School, one of Alabama’s “Turnaround Schools,” to visit with some of the students and to deliver books for each third grader to take home.

The students were thrilled when Ivey gave each of them a book to take home. As soon as they had a book in their hands, they began flipping through the pages and reading. The governor offered encouraging words to them and urged them to read daily. Ivey suggested that they find books about topics they like. She told the students that she enjoyed mysteries as a child and was an avid reader of the Nancy Drew series.

“I was truly encouraged when I met some of the students at Chisholm Elementary today,” Ivey said in a statement. “These children just lit up when they had a book in their hands, and that was exciting to see. I urge all of my fellow Alabamians to encourage our children to read. This is a vital skill to life, and I am committed to seeing all Alabama students achieve success with reading and in school.”

During her inaugural address on Monday, Ivey told Alabamians that the education of Alabama’s children is her number one priority and promised that before the end of her term that Alabama would be in the top thirty states in educational rankings.

Ivey followed this visit by issuing four new executive orders addressing education.

“I am proud to sign these executive orders into effect and believe they will lay an essential foundation for ensuring every Alabama student receives a high-quality education,” said Governor Ivey. “This is the first of many steps I plan to take in this new term to increase Alabama’s national ranking in our student’s reading and math performance. Our children are our future, and by investing in their education, we are investing in a better Alabama.”

Ivey is investing heavily in improving early literacy. Every child in the state will receive a book every month from birth thru age five. Ivey has also increased funding for Alabama’s national award-winning four-year-old kindergarten program. On Wednesday, Ivey sent a memo to the Department of Early Childhood Education, telling the agency to prioritize creating new First-Class Pre-K classrooms in counties where more than 20% of the population falls below federal poverty guidelines.

The state has postponed full implementation of the Alabama Literacy Act due to the COVID-19 school closures, but at some point, the state will begin requiring third graders who do not read at grade level to repeat third grade. This is intended to put additional pressure on students, teachers, and parents to ensure students can read effectively by the end of the third grade.

The Legislature has also passed, and the governor signed, the Numeracy Act to address the horrid performance that Alabama students have had in math scores.

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