Lee County, Tuscaloosa DA Offices Team Up To Beat Illiteracy

photo contributed to the observer


In the spirit of Iron Bowl competition, the Lee County District Attorney’s Office and the Tuscaloosa County District Attorney’s office teamed up with Reach Out and Read-Alabama (ROR-AL) to not only beat each other in the state’s biggest rivalry, but to beat illiteracy one book at a time. The two offices raised a total of $5,981.

While the Tuscaloosa County DAs Office was the official winner raising $3,230, the real winners are the over 26,000 children and families served by the two program sites in Lee County — Pediatric Associates of Auburn and Pediatric Clinic, LLC. — and the five program sites in Tuscaloosa County — Alabama Multi Specialty Clinic, Bama Pediatrics, Crimson Pediatrics, The University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences and West Alabama Pediatrics.

“Illiteracy is common among individuals in the criminal justice system,” said Jessica Ventiere, Lee County district attorney. “Investing in literacy efforts like Reach Out and Read-Alabama is an investment in our children, strong family bonds and safer communities. We appreciate everyone, regardless of who they cheer for, who participated in the Iron Bowl Book Drive!”

Each office hosted an online book drive Nov. 1 through Nov. 26 to benefit the ROR-AL program sites located in their respective counties. Donations made through the book drive will purchase books to be prescribed by a pediatrician to support families in understanding their children’s developmental milestones.

“Thank you to everyone who contributed,” said Hays Webb, Tuscaloosa County district attorney. “We believe that strong families build strong communities and that reading is essential to every child’s success. We are glad to compete for this wonderful cause, and we wish everyone a joyous holiday season. Roll Tide!”

Research has shown that when parents read books with their young children, they foster healthy brain development and create strong parent-child bonds that last a lifetime.

“Reach Out and Read-Alabama believes that all families should have access to books and the meaningful moments that are created by shared reading with children,” said Amy Crosby, ROR-AL statewide coordinator. “By integrating reading into pediatric practices, advising families about the importance of reading aloud and giving books at well-child visits, we foster enduring family bonds between caregivers and their children that promote healthy childhood development.”

Currently, 57 of Alabama’s pediatric practices and clinics serve as Reach Out and Read-Alabama program sites in 32 counties, impacting 40% of the state’s children under the age of 5.

Congratulations to the Tuscaloosa County DAs office for winning the Iron Bowl Book Drive.


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