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Literacy Council Partners with Stillman College for Health Literacy Enrichment Camp

Feed to Read students will be given books during graduation from the Health Literacy Enrichment Camp. Feed to Read students will be given books during graduation from the Health Literacy Enrichment Camp. Literacy Council of West Alabama

The Literacy Council of West Alabama is teaming up with Stillman College to host a health literacy enrichment camp from Monday, July 18 to Friday, July 22 to kick off the Literacy Council's “Feed to Read” campaign. The camp, located on the Stillman campus, is free and open to children from five to 10 years of age. 

“We are combining health, nutrition, and literacy, showing the link between how what you eat, and how you take care of your body impacts how you think.  We are partnering with Stillman College, Central Elementary School, the Weaver Bolden branch of the Tuscaloosa Library, and the Tuscaloosa River Market,” said Literacy Council Executive Director Lauren McFarland. 

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The week kicks off with an exercise and reading day that will feature movies, brain pop games, reading exercises, Zumba lessons and hula hoop lessons. Tuesday will see a trip to the farmer’s market, with Wednesday emphasizing a community health clinic through family clinic stations, a dentist demonstration, and more. Thursday will be dedicated to a cooking demonstration by Shelton State student with culinary aspirations who was a recipient of the Literacy Council’s Janet Foster Griffith GED Scholarship. A graduation ceremony will be held on Friday.  

The Literacy Council serves a nine county area in the Black Belt and West Alabama, McFarland said. The areas are among the poorest in the United States. 

“The families we serve worry about providing a safe home, adequate clothing, and enough food to their children. For these parents, addressing their children’s progress in school or literacy needs come second,” she said. “Due to generational cycles of high poverty and low employment, literacy becomes an issue for children, adults, and the entire community.” 

Literacy is not always noticeable or readily identified, McFarland said. It also has a significant impact on healthy living and a healthy learning process. The Feed to Read campaign addresses healthy literacy, civic literacy, early childhood and family literacy and adult GED opportunities, while highlighting the resources available in the community.  

“Your brain has to do a good job for you to learn. If you eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, your brain works really well and its lets you think clearly and do your best work,” she said. “If you exercise, it helps your body keep up with the good work your brain is doing. When your brain and body do their very best, you do your best at school when you read and write, in sports when you play, and at church when you are with your family.” 

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