June 19, 2019

Today we visit with FeFe Handy, Founder & CEO of the Atlanta nonprofit, Page Turners Make Great Learners.  Later in the show, Bruce Gale brings us an interview with one of our earlier Kid Heroes, Hannah Taylor.

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”~ Frederick Douglass

Reading is critical for children to become successful at school. Without the ability to read, students are unable to understand most other topics. Most of a what a child learns is done from reading…the teacher’s writing on a blackboard, textbooks, workbooks, etc. If a child is unable to read, it becomes impossible to answer questions on a written test in math, science, or social studies. And without the ability to read, these kids are unable to master writing.

Students not reading well in third grade are 4 times more likely to drop out.  65 percent of fourth graders read at or below the basic level. As curriculum advances, these children will fall behind.  By the time children from low-income families enter grade school, their proficiency in reading has already become an issue.

New research at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting shows that reading books with a child beginning in early infancy can boost vocabulary and reading skills four years later, before the start of elementary school. Kids whose parents frequently talk/read to them know more words by age 2 than children who have not been read to.  

Summer reading loss widens the reading achievement gap that existed when these children began kindergarten.  A report by the U.S. Department of Education showed that every summer, when school is not in session, kids from low-income families lose two or three months of reading growth.

This brings us to today's highlighted charity, Page Turners Make Great Learners...

Page Turners Make Great Learners' mission is to expand children’s knowledge and understanding of the world, themselves and their unique possibilities through a love of reading. Page Turners began as one mother’s campaign to encourage her child to read.  What began as a campaign born of self-interest became a call to action, enhancing the reading experience with hands-on activities, field trips and visits from guest speakers.

Over the past 12 years, Page Turners Make Great Learners has conducted read-a-thons, books clubs and book donation drives benefiting thousands of children in Title I schools in greater Atlanta.  They are still a young organization striving to make an impact on the lives, education and future of our children through the power of reading.

Their customized programs and writing coaches instill writing confidence in children with useful tools and easy-to-grasp concepts. @PTMGL

Earlier this month, Bev had the opportunity to sit down and talk with FeFe Handy, Founder & CEO.

Hannah Taylor is one of those very special people who care deeply for the homeless and underprivileged.  She has helped thousands of people along the way.  She has traveled the world and recruited young and old to help however possible.  She has met some very influential people who have helped her since she was 5 yrs. old and learned about hunger and homelessness.  By the time Hannah was 8, she had started her nonprofit, The Ladybug Foundation, and had become the innocent face of the homeless, seeing their plight with the clarity of a child and speaking out for them across Canada, and elsewhere in the world, to one person at a time and to groups as large as 16,000. 

She has spoken in front of thousands of people to encourage them to help those in need.  She was voted as one of the finalists for Canada's Nicest Person Competition.  She was also honored as one of the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award Winners from all around the world.  She's a published author of a children's book.

We introduced our listeners to Hannah’s story back in May of 2013.  On today’s show, Bruce Gale talks with Hannah about the work her nonprofit has accomplished and her goals for the future.

Hannah Taylor
Hannah Taylor