The late American poet and humorist Strickland Gillian had the right attitude about youngsters, at an early age, being read to by a family member or another trusted adult and its importance to that child building his literacy skills.
He said, “You may have tangible wealth untold; caskets of jewels and coffers of gold, but richer than I you could never be as I had a mother who read to me.”
That is the same spirit that has driven the nonprofit Everyone Wins! Atlanta, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary of impacting children’s literacy by developing children’s reading skills through shared reading experiences with adult mentors coming to read to them at their school, said Executive Director Tiffany Tolbert.
The organization is celebrating two decades of improving the literacy of low-income children throughout metro Atlanta by embarking on a campaign to distribute 20,000 books across the area in an effort to increase literacy and encourage lifelong reading and learning in children, one book at a time.
To raise funds for this worthy cause, the organization will kick off the campaign with Brews for Books, an event set for March 29 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Monday Night Brewing, 670 Trabert Ave. in west Midtown. Representatives of the nonprofit are inviting young professionals, who are looking for ways to fund this effort in a fun and exciting way to contribute to this worthy cause.
Admission is $35 per person, which will allow those in attendance to mingle and participate in a food-tasting activity, while having a beer in addition to receiving a pint beer glass from Monday Night Brewing, plus a private tour of its facility.
In addition, there will be a raffle with tickets for that event being $10 for one or $35 for three with prizes being in one of three specific categories: eating, playing or staying.
In the eating category, there will be such raffled prizes as a $50 gift card to Fifth Group Restaurants, while in the play category, raffle prizes including a Porsche driving experience, where the winner can ride in one of the best sports cars in the world.
In addition, other play category raffle items include trying out a Delta Air Lines flight simulator, two tickets to the Georgia Aquarium, four tickets to Six Flags Over Georgia and a $150 PGA Tour Superstore gift card.
To purchase event and raffle tickets, visit everybodywinsatlanta.org/8th-annual-raffle-for-reading/.
Since 1997, Everybody Wins! Atlanta has believed that prevention is better than intervention with its goal of reaching below-grade level readers in Title I schools through its signature mentored reading programs.
Through the organization’s Power Lunch program, mentors from local businesses and community partners visit neighborhood schools once a week during lunchtime to read with a child and, in so doing, make a positive impact on that child’s life.
“The Power Lunch program is where a child in that school and an adult meet for 30 minutes, once weekly to read and foster a mentoring relationship,” Tolbert said.
The Everybody Wins! organization was founded in New York in 1991 by Arthur Tannenbaum and his wife, Phyllis, who read aloud to their children and, in doing so, instilled in them a lifelong love of reading.
Then the husband-and-wife team began serving as reading mentors to students at a local school and visited the school once weekly during lunch time to read with a child. The Atlanta chapter started with volunteers reading to students at Hope-Hill Elementary School.
The Atlanta fundraising effort for this campaign began with a simple raffle nine years ago and has grown from a group of 50 people who raised $5,000 to an organization of 125 people who raised $17,000 last year.
“This milestone anniversary means so much to us that we are bringing past volunteers, former staff members and others who have contributed to this program so we can congratulate them for a job well done and then move into our next 20 years,” Tolbert said.
Another member of Everybody Wins!, spokeswoman Nekeidra Taylor, said Brews for Books is a great event for the community to come out and support a great nonprofit.
“Everyone can see this as a great organization, which has been around for 20 years, while our reading mentors who visit and read to the children are doing a great job going into different communities throughout the metro area and volunteering to give their time through our Power Lunch program, or in another capacity, to help make a difference in a child’s life,” Taylor said.