Members of the Rotary Club of Jasper who attended the signing of the proclamation. Photo by Steve Lawrence.
Rob Jones proclaims Ferst Readers Week
Each year the first week of spring is declared Pickens Ferst Readers Week with a proclamation signed by Pickens County Commission Chair Rob Jones. The proclamation is a reminder of how far this childhood literacy program has come in the county since May of 2009 when the first two free, age-appropriate books with literacy support materials were mailed to children under the age of five. The proclamation was signed in front of the Rotary Club of Jasper that initiated this program in 2009 under the leadership of Jeff Downing.
"Pickens County is a caring community that supports this childhood literacy program that is making a difference with our children. A child's path to a brighter future is paved with books." states Sue Appleton, volunteer Chair of Ferst Readers of Pickens County. Ferst Readers of Pickens County announced that the 117,640th book was mailed to a Pickens County child in March 2019. For more information on this program, go to www.ferstreaders.org.
Whereas Ferst Readers (formerly known as Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy) was chartered by the state of Georgia in 1999 as the result of Georgia Citizen, Robin Ferst,
Whereas the Rotary Club of Jasper brought this childhood literacy program to Pickens County in 2009 and shipped their first two books in May of 2009;
Whereas the Pickens County community worked together to grow the program to reach 70-75% of all children under the age of 5 and is 3rd in the state of Georgia in percentage of children reached;
Whereas the 114,000 free age-appropriate book with literacy support materials was mailed in December 2018 to a Pickens County child;
Whereas Ferst Readers is a 4-star charity and ranked number 1 in Reading and Literacy charities in the state of Georgia by Charity Navigator;
Whereas research has continually shown that when adults read aloud to children from birth, it promotes increased language development and better understanding of language which leads to literacy success;
Whereas the local Ferst Readers of Pickens County program is making a difference in our community as our children are more ready to learn when entering kindergarten;
Whereas the Vernal Equinox occurs on March 20, 2019 and marked the first day of spring 2019;
Be it therefore resolved that March 20 through 27, 2019 is proclaimed as Ferst Readers Week throughout the county of Pickens, State of Georgia, and USA.
Signed by Robert P. Jones
Pickens County Commission Chair
Submitted by the Rotary Club of Jasper