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Weeklong literacy campaign to feature rapping DeKalb teachers

Reading, as it’s often been preached, is fundamental.

And in an effort to heighten that enthusiasm, one DeKalb County middle school began its weeklong literacy campaign featuring the rapping teaching duo of Sheldon Strickland and Rayshun Casey, known professionally as Casey & Strick. 

As part of its “Read a Book” campaign, Long Middle School ordered more than 5,000 Blufiord series books, a collection of contemporary American young adult novels set in the fictional inner-city high school, Bluford High, named for America’s first black astronaut, Guion “Guy” Bluford. 

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The campaign, which ends Oct. 12, will culminate in a pep rally where students can rap about their favorite books and see a performance from Casey and Strick, who teach at Redan and Kingsley elementary schools, respectively. 

The weeklong event is just the latest in metro Atlanta schools’ efforts to combat illiteracy. 

In June, the Delta Air Lines Foundation donated $300,000 to Atlanta Partners for Education, a nonprofit that supports the work of Atlanta Public Schools, to fund four full-time literacy teachers. The donation is part of a five-year partnership the airline has with the school district. 

Last year, the state ramped up its efforts to increase child literacy

efforts after only one in three third-graders statewide scored in the top two categories on the Georgia Milestones standardized test in English/Language Arts.

That same year, state officials opened The Georgia Center for Early Language and Literacy at Georgia College in Milledgeville. Roughly $5.1 million was allocated for the center in 2017 and 2018. 

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