Athens, Ga. – Michael F. Adams, president of the University of Georgia, is doing battle this month with the CEOs and presidents of Georgia’s top universities and corporations to benefit a program that brings joy as well as literacy skills to young children across the state.
In March of this year, the Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy will celebrate its 10th anniversary of introducing children to the wonderful world of books and helping prepare them for school.To celebrate the program’s success and promote awareness, the Ferst Foundation, with its corporate partners, has launched the inaugural For the Love of Reading Battle for Childhood Literacy. Adams and others have stepped forward and challenged their students, colleagues, alumni, clients, employees and friends to take on the challenge of being declared the favorite reader as well as raising funds to help the Ferst Foundation expand its reach into more communities in Georgia.
The presidents and CEOs were recently videotaped reading a favorite children’s book to a group of youngsters. Adams read Boom Chicka Rock by John Archambault to a group of four-year-olds at UGA’s McPhaul Child Development Lab. The videos are available on the Ferst Foundation Web site, www.ferstfoundation.org, and visitors to the site are asked to vote for their favorite video and in support of their favorite CEO. Individuals may vote once per day for free and as many times as they want with a $3 contribution to the foundation that will support more books sent to the homes of Georgia children. Voting ends on Feb. 12.
“I truly believe that reading is the fundamental foundation in education,” said Adams. “I think as soon as children learn to read and are exposed to books and good literature, they prepare themselves for success in every thing they do in life.”
Participating university presidents and CEOs, in addition to Adams include: Michael P. Becker, president of Georgia State University; G. P. “Bud” Peterson, president of Georgia Institute of Technology; John F. Brock, chairman and CEO, Coca-Cola Enterprises; J. Randall Carroll, vice chairman, Bank of North Georgia, CEO, Bank of Coweta; David Murphy, president and CEO of BetterWorldBooks; Alicia Phillip, president of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta; Elton Potts, group president and COO of Recall Corp.; and Gary Price, managing partner, PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
The Ferst Foundation strives to improve early-learning opportunities for every Georgia child. Robin Ferst, an Atlanta businesswoman and philanthropist, began the organization with the philosophy that any child who cannot read is at risk and the best way to ensure success in school is to encourage reading at home from an early age. Through her efforts and the support of a growing number of individuals and community partners, the foundation has sent more than 1.7 million books to more than 90,000 Georgia preschool children in 70 counties over the past 10 years.