HOLLA plans Black History Month reading challenge

MORVEN, NC — February is Black History Month as well as the month of love.

8. Florita Headshot 2aHOLLA — Helping Our Loved ones Learn and Achieve — is combining the two for the inaugural Black History Month Reading Challenge to promote and foster a love for reading in young children.

Students in third through sixth grades who attend the HOLLA Reading Room each Saturday during the month of February and participate in the reading activities could win cool prizes.

All names of students who have attended each four reading sessions, from 10-11 a.m. Feb. 6, 13, 20 and 27, will be entered into a drawing. The first-place winner will receive a tablet; second place will net a $25 gift card to Walmart and the third-place drawing is for a $15 McDonald’s gift card.

Each winner will also receive a package of age-appropriate books to take home.

A special guest will lead the reading sessions each Saturday.

Kicking off the reading challenge on Feb. 6 will be Dr. Florita Bell Griffin, creative director of ARC Communications LLC, a Texas-based visual art communications and publishing company.

Griffin, a resident of Houston, Texas, and native of Anson County, was recently named a 2016 recipient of the Zora Neale Hurston Award, an annual achievement award administered by the Reference and User Services Association, a division of the American Library Association and sponsored by Harper Collins Publishers.

The Zora Neale Hurston Award Committee selected Griffin in recognition of her leadership and tireless efforts in promoting literacy and African-American literature through the creation of the Little Flower literacy project.

The Little Flower project works to improve youth literacy, self-esteem and imagination through the use of art, artistic media and African-American literature (storytelling).

Little Flower, the project’s namesake and storybook heroine, is a young African-American girl growing up during the early days of the civil rights movement.

A vocal anti-bullying advocate, Little Flower uses her sharp mind, big heart and even bigger imagination to inspire and organize her ever-expanding circle of multi-cultural friends to address the problem of bullying in their school.

Of special note, Griffin unveiled her Little Flower project at the HOLLA Center in May 2015. Nearly a year later, she returns to continue her efforts to promote literacy by participating in the reading challenge.

Children simply need to show up and participate for an hour each Saturday in February in order to be eligible for the prize drawings. Breakfast will be served at each session.

HOLLA is a nonprofit organization led by Leon Gatewood to promote literacy and help students reach their full potential.

For more information, call the HOLLA Center at 704-851-3144. Leave a message.

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