The staff at a Twiggs County business say they're trying to improve literacy rates with unconventional lesson plans.

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In a little yellow house across from Twiggs County's Library sits another source of knowledge with almost as many books.

"Students, whatever their area of interest need to know how to read," Hawthorne said.

Sarah Hawthorne came to Twiggs County to teach 9th graders but discovered many of them were illiterate.

"And I knew how to teach them to read. We used a lot of different things. We used the driver's manual, and the fishing license manual and lots of things that interested them. "

Twiggs County's adult literacy rate is 75%, 22 points below the national average.

So Hawthorne created Alpha Skills, a company that provides interactive lesson plans. And Hawthorne doesn't just write the curriculum.

She trains teachers, parents who home school and works with adult and family literacy . She started with five Georgia elementary schools.

She now works with 150 different schools, from Pre-K to 9th grade.

Sandra Disbennett's nephew Joshua spent six months working with Alpha Skills to improve his

"And it was just a great, great time for him because he was able to learn how to read and to do a lot of different things he didn't think he could do," Disbennett said.

It's children like Joshua that got Hawthorne into this business, and she doesn't plan on stopping anytime soon.
"It is a passion. I think God gave me the talent and I have the passion to go along with it, so that keeps me going."

Because Alpha Skills is a chapter of Hawthorne's story that's still being written.

Like Kristen Swilley on Facebook at "Kristen Swilley WMAZ" and follow her on Twitter @KristenSwilley

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