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Students, parents, and teachers awarded grants from local literacy supporters

Several adults and children stand in a room lined with shelves filled with books.
Tom Flanigan
WFSU Public Media
The Parker Family was one among four families receiving bags of donated books during the event.

Families received bags full of books and teachers received checks to fund special class projects. Tallahassee nonprofit Creative Mind Solutions sponsored a literacy grant awards event Saturday, November 6. W.T. Moore Elementary School Principal Kerri Anderson offered this assessment of the importance of reading in the educational process:

"Everything we do every day with our children is about literacy."

Pineview Elementary School Music Teacher Aubrey Iacobelli was among the literacy grant recipients.

"The children will be getting some yoga balls with these grants and some light-up drum sticks and they'll be doing motion-activated and cardio. We're just cross-contaminating everything in the school."

And Florida A&M education major Lamont Conner said her grant would help fund the cost of taking the state's teacher certification exam.

"I have high hopes and my fingers are crossed that I can use this grant to finally take the FTCA exam for the last time."

Among the coalition of agencies supporting the initiative is United Partners of Human Services. Its head, Lashawnda Gordon, praised Creative Mind Solutions' Ashely Scott for the number of grants given out.

"She was able to give out close to 20, which is amazing! We work with her to secure some funding to be able to do that. And one of her main goals is to focus on Title One schools, as well as those that are serving those with cognitive disabilities. Because, as we all know, early literacy is super important."

There were nearly 100 grant applicants this year. Students, teachers, parents, and college students in both public and private schools were considered.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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