Amazon funds five literacy labs for Bessemer City elementary schools

Published: Sep. 8, 2023 at 5:21 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - On Friday, Bessemer City Schools and state officials joined retail giant Amazon for the unveiling of a brand new literacy lab at Charles F. Hard Elementary. It is one of five now open to students in the district.

The lab is aimed to help students with their literacy skills. Superintendent Dana Arreola said literacy is the foundation for all other skills.

“It [the literacy lab] takes them out of their traditional setting for literacy and what literacy looks like. There are so many ways we can introduce students to concepts across the country,” said Arreola.

The lab includes technology, resources and alternative seating. Principal Armentress Robinson believes the setting will encourage students to have fun while learning.

“Learning should be fun. It should be warm and inviting and this space speaks that, ” said Robinson.

Specific curriculum has been built for teaching in the space. Volunteers will also come and read to students in the literacy lab.

Shembeka Johnson is a spokesperson for Amazon. She said Bessemer is the first district to receive a literacy lab from Amazon. She said Bessemer is full of opportunities.

“We may do this in other parts of the country, but we saw the need right here in Bessemer and wanted to start here,” said Johnson.

Amazon also donated $25,000 to the district, meaning each of the five labs will have $5,000 to keep them up to date.

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