‘Tuscaloosa Reads’ celebrates improvements in city’s school libraries

"Tuscaloosa Reads" celebrates nine school libraries
Published: Apr. 10, 2023 at 5:12 AM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Superintendent Dr. Mike Daria said the Tuscaloosa City School system is making progress when it comes to reading.

Recently, it celebrated improvements happening in libraries playing a role in that.

Those changes are happening in several Tuscaloosa City Schools.

“There’s like a bunch of books that help people become a better reader,” according to Eliot Oforiamanor, a Tuscaloosa City School student. “There’s pronunciation, there’s chapter books, fiction, non-fiction, a lot of that stuff.”

He and others recognized those changes at a “Tuscaloosa Reads” celebration at University Middle School.

Nine libraries in the school system have now achieved the state’s definition of exemplary status.

That’s based off the number and average age of books in the collections.

The majority of Tuscaloosa City School elementary school libraries now have exemplary status.

“We believe that the libraries in our schools are the heartbeat of our schools. And our focus on literacy and a culture of reading is so important and that, in many ways, is done through the libraries,” Dr. Mike Daria explained.

Tuscaloosa City Schools went from zero to nine exemplary library collections in six years.

The school system credits increased state funding, planning, and working with several partners including Reading Allies and the Tuscaloosa Public Library in providing books students will enjoy reading.

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