Debbie Burdette, Director of Troup County CLCP (Certified Literate Community Program), recently visited each elementary school to present a dictionary to every third grade student. While she is better known to the young audience as Mama Jama the Storytelling Mama, there was no way she could depart from the groups without sharing a story to get them excited about receiving their dictionary.
Burdette’s passion is early literacy and she believes a child knowing more words can help build their vocabulary so they are prepared for the future, “Having their own dictionary means they can look up words and not just know what the word is, but understanding the meaning of that word,” she said.
During her storytelling time, she talked about the purpose of reading and how it can help the young readers reach graduation. Burdette painted a picture of graduation day with the students walking across the stage and their parents, family members, and friends cheering them on because they made it to the first educational milestone. The kids clapped and cheered along as they recited in unison their expected year of graduation.
Paulette Hall, CLCP Board Member, was there to assist Burdette in handing out dictionaries to over 900 TCSS third graders. The students had the option of leaving it in their classroom or taking it home to help in their studies. Both Burdette and Hall shook the hands of each child and asked them what they wanted to be when they grew up. Some replied teachers while others replied football players, priests, and paleontologists. Both ladies encouraged the eager students to continue their education and to think of them as they grow up and have fulfilling careers.
About Troup County School System Troup County School System is an accredited educational system with over 11,900 students in grades K-12. TCSS does offer a free Pre-K program at each elementary school. The system is comprised of eleven elementary schools, three middle schools, three high schools, one college and career academy, and one alternative learning center. Students within the school system are taught a rigorous and relevant curriculum that helps them make college and career choices beyond graduation and succeed in life. The system 2017 graduation rate rose 6.6 percentage points in three years to 78.0 percent. To learn more about Troup County School System, visit troup.org and the Troup County School System Facebook page.