Monica Anderson Young and Dr. Dee Dupree Bennett, college sorority sisters, reunited through a shared passion to develop a literacy program for Alabama’s youngest citizens. The idea hatched when McRae Young, a new Mobile County Assistant District Attorney (and Monica’s daughter), noticed how children coming to court lacked materials to occupy themselves as electronic devices are not permitted in Alabama courtrooms.
Years ago, McRae and Monica co-authored a children’s book review column together. Drawing upon this background, Monica began developing an idea for an activity booklet and recruited Dr. Dee Dupree Bennett, an education professor at Troy University and former school principal.
The two women created SHORT, a curious squirrel who wants to help children explore their surroundings, starting with the courtrooms of Alabama. Coincidentally, also in 2020, Governor Kay Ivey signed the Alabama Literacy Act declaring all Alabama children will be reading on or above grade level by third grade. Bennett and Young hope SHORT will become a statewide initiative, funded through generous sponsorships, positively affecting each young citizen who meets SHORT.
Join SHORT the Squirrel to increase literacy for our youngest citizens. This sponsorship provides materials, both handheld and virtual, aimed at fostering a community mindset.