The mission for the non-profit organization Page Turners Make Great Learners (PTMGL) is simple: to expand children’s knowledge and understanding of the world, themselves and their unique possibilities through a love of reading. This Atlanta-based initiative is putting the work into create communities where all children can grow up to be literate, well-informed, productive and compassionate citizens.
Page Turners Make Great Learners serves students in Title I elementary schools throughout the metro Atlanta area, with an emphasis on the Atlanta Public Schools. In addition to literacy programs, PTMGL also focuses on providing positive role models to help students start to imagine potential careers. While embracing reading as an enjoyable activity is one goal, the organization also wants students to recognize reading as an essential life skill and a conduit to a transformational experience to create any future they can imagine.
Page Turners Make Great Learners has made impressive gains since its modest inception in 2003. They are serving some of the most vulnerable and underserved student populations in Atlanta. Over 95% of the students who benefit from their literacy programs receive free and reduced lunch and come from low-income families. PTMGL believes all students should have a chance to experience the magic of reading.
Page Turners Make Great Learners has made great inroads to instill a life-long love of reading. Their achievements are remarkable:
- PTMGL has served more than 22,000 children in its 14-year history.
- This year alone, PTMGL has reached over 5,000 children attending Title I Schools.
- Along with community partners, PTMGL has helped to provide over 7,000 books to deserving children and schools this school year.
Students involved in the Page Turners Make Great Learners program benefit from developing a love of reading, which is something many children in their communities do not ever receive. They also benefit from gaining real-world knowledge, the reinforcement of school curricula and state standards, exposure to careers, engagement with corporate mentors, and experience with Arts and STEM education.
PTMGL has three primary program initiatives:
- School-wide read-a-thons. Adult volunteers read to children in each classroom and communicate the importance of reading in the work they do. During the read-a-thons, PTMGL recognizes and awards prizes to outstanding young readers and provide books for the school’s media center.
- After school and summer book clubs. These events are more than just about books. They feature arts-infused activities, field trips, and guest speakers to reinforce the joy of reading. They can also help stem the loss of critical literacy skills during the summer.
- Book collection drives. PTMGL believes children must have books at home to further their love of reading. They use book collection drives to give children books to own.
Page Turners Make Great Learners’ founder, FeFe Handy, is a mother of two. She started the program to encourage her own children to learn to love reading. She thought she could make reading a social activity that might help kids see the value in it. The thousands of kids who have gone through the PTMGL program prove she was right!
Page Turners has garnered the support of prominent civic and community leaders such as award-winning author and poet, Pearl Cleage, First Lady of Georgia, Sandra Deal, sister of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Christine King Farris, award-winning authors and illustrators and a host of others.
How can you get involved?
Page Turners Make Great Learners will be hosting their annual gala, A Storybook Evening – Food for Thought, at the Buckhead Theatre on June 22. The fun night will feature Rodney Bullard, Vice President of Community Affairs, Chick-fil-A and Executive Director, Chick-fil-A Foundation as keynote speaker. CBS46 and Kendra Scott, of The Kendra Scott Company, will be honored.