“I am the mother of Heavenleigh. Heavenleigh is 5 months old. She love for me to read the book called Read to Me. When I read this book she just smile and look at me in my eyes. She is really smart for her to be only 5 months.”
“The Ferst Foundation literacy program is vital because it hooks kids and their families so early.”
—Julie Morill, Striving Reader Program Manager, Ga. Department of Education
"Let me begin by stating that I cannot thank you enough for the work that you do. As an educator, I have seen firsthand the effects of the program. In the past I would begin a read aloud and ask if any of my students were familiar with the text, and no one would be; however, now they say 'Yes. That's one of my books I got in the mail.'
Thank you again for the work that you do.""
“Thank you for your work. We are so glad to be a part of this wonderful organization. I have seen firsthand homes where children (and adults) have no reading material and no one modeling reading. Even though these children are in a classroom full of books which are always available, the fact is these four-year-olds have missed a sensitive period for acquiring language and literacy and so they start out behind. Ferst goes a long way to remedy this disparity.”
—Debbie Thigpen, retired Georgia pre-K educator
“The Ferst Foundation has been so special to our family for many reasons. While the primary purpose is to provide books for children, the opportunity has become so much more for us. It has become a monthly tradition to check our mailbox together and find our book. I know that getting her own mail will be a fond memory for our daughter as she gets older. The anticipation of looking through each new book is sure to help instill the love of reading we want all children to develop. We want her to treasure reading and appreciate good literature.”
- Chad and Jamie N.
"The Ferst Foundation has given my daughter a head start in developing important skills that will last her a lifetime as well as ensuring our family enjoys quality time together! Every time a new book comes in the mail my daughter gets so excited. She is now 19 months old and has been receiving books through the Ferst Foundation since she was born. She has quite the collection now, and I can honestly say that reading is her favorite pastime. She gets me to read her books to her then she’ll sit and flip through the pages and read them back to herself. I am one proud momma that my baby is so interested in reading and learning! Thank you Ferst Foundation for giving my child such a valuable learning tool and starting her off with the building blocks to a brighter future!"
—Shauna (Mommy to Starla Jane)
“Since collaborating with Ferst Foundation we have seen scores on our kindergarten readiness test increase from 46% ready to over 90% ready.”
—Stan DeJarnett, former Superintendent, Morgan County School System
“By the age of three, children from low-income households have only half the vocabulary of their more affluent peers. This difference impacts whether the child reads on grade level and eventually whether that child is likely to graduate. Books provided through the Ferst Foundation provide the words that feed children’s minds and help drive their success in school and in life.” I helped start the Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy program in Henry County because of an article about the program’s impact in GeorgiaTrend magazine. I instinctively knew that our kids needed those books, too. We have now mailed almost 100,000 age-appropriate books to children in our county.”
Vice-Chair, Henry County Board of Education
Founder and Former Chair, Ferst Foundation of Henry County
“I absolutely love this program! Sometimes, as working parents, it's easy to fall into a reading-rut, but this program keeps me motivated to read to my son and keeps us reading new and exciting things! We are so grateful for the Ferst Foundation and find it such an amazing organization!”
- Ella M.
“Thanks for all the work you all put into this program to ensure the program remains free. Sometimes money can be tight and Ferst Foundation guarantees my little ones have access to fun literature that they can call their own!”
- Brandy S.
“My daughter and I are equally excited when the books arrive in the mailbox. This program has helped support a love of reading for both of us. I appreciate that the program often sends books I have never heard of to expose my daughter to a wider variety of reading content. After repeatedly reading the book Stanley the Builder, we were driving around and I heard my daughter exclaim from the back seat, "Look Mommy, a crane and a mixer!" Sure enough, we were passing a construction site and my daughter had just linked the vocabulary from the book to her real life. How awesome!”
- Susan S.
“Literacy is truly the keys to the kingdom of academic and life success. By placing books in the hands of our youngest children, Ferst Foundation has been instrumental in providing a foundation for future success for our children in Jefferson County. Ferst is leveling the playing field for our youngest children at a time in their lives when they are most susceptible. We see the difference it has made.”
– Molly Howard, School Superintendent, Jefferson County
"This program has been a God-send for us. With FERST books we get new stories delivered right to our home monthly. As parents it's our privilege to introduce our child to reading and this program helps SO much. I hope y’all understand how wonderful this program is to families who might not be able to afford new books monthly on their own. Thank you so much for helping me teach my babies about the joy of reading and the bond forged when we read together."
“Ferst Foundation is a welcome resource in providing my son with a diverse collection of books with pleasant stories and captivating images. I cannot wait until he is old enough to review the discussion questions with me in the monthly newsletter, but until then, I make sure to read them and gather tips for future critical reading and reading comprehension practice. Thank you ever so much for the opportunity to be a part of this learning community. Honestly, it's hard to tell which one of us is more excited to see a new book in the mail! Keep up the good work! We are looking forward to another four years!”
- Corinn S.
“Poverty is one of our greatest barriers to education in Johnson County, and I believe that the Ferst Foundation is helping us to lessen the impact of this barrier. In just two years our enrollment in the program has grown to more than 50 preschoolers, and we are seeing steady improvement in the readiness skills of our students entering school.”
—Rebecca Thomas, Johnson County Superintendent of Schools
“My son loves the excitement of getting a new book in the mail. I love the suggestions (in the newsletter) of what to ask while reading and ways to involve my son in the reading process. So far, his favorite book is Flying.”
“Franklin County has several communities within our borders that are high poverty areas and do not have access to the public library which is located on the North end of our county. The Ferst Foundation has played a pivotal role in getting age appropriate literature into the hands of our children at risk and there is no doubt that it’s impacting student success.”
—Mr. Wayne Randall, Franklin County School System Superintendent
“I read to my little boy all the time but until I read one of your newsletters, it had never donned on me to talk about things that we see in the book before flipping the page. The READ guide is a great reminder. I seriously cannot thank everyone involved with this program enough! Absolutely love it! Thanks!”
“The Ferst Foundation has made a tremendous difference in our students’ reading levels. We compared the entry level reading scores for our kindergarten students that received Ferst books and those who did not and we were amazed at the difference---an average of 110 points! I have served as the co-chair for the Community Action Team to raise funds and register children for this wonderful program and it is, without a doubt, the most worthwhile time I spend working for children. The children love their books and the parents benefit so much from reading with them. Thanks so much.”
—Joy S. Collins, Superintendent Evans County Schools