SHORT the Squirrel is a plush-costumed character who promotes literacy in the Wiregrass. He distributed literacy kits throughout the community (courthouses, waiting rooms, banks, and more) and visits schools to raise awareness about SHORT and his program. Each February, the SHORT Literacy Initiative releases a birthday video with accompanying lesson plans and extension activities, free for Alabama educators. The literacy kits, school visits, and community appearances were all a part of the Reading Parade event for SHORT’s 2nd birthday.
February 2022’s birthday party had a Mardi Gras theme. The video had nearly 1,500 teachers register, and approximately 35,000 Alabama students have seen it to date. Local schools received copies of the booklet SHORT Goes to Mardi Gras to accompany the video and school celebrations of reading!