Hannah first heard about the Ferst Readers program, a partner agency with United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley, through a fundraising event broadcasted from a local radio station. Hannah realized as she listened to the fundraiser interview that the focus of Ferst readers was to address some of the same issues she was raised with – a single parent home with a low-income environment that did not encourage reading. Hannah knew at that moment she wanted her 2 year old, Ari, to grow up with better reading skills than what she had developed.
Frances (Left) Ari (Right)
Hannah registered for Ferst Readers’ free mailed monthly books for Ari and did the same when her second child Frances was born. She understood the value of reading, and although she now had a better lifestyle as a local dental hygienist, she knew her reading skills were not as strong as they should be.
Now Ari is 6 years old and a strong reader and can comprehend, read, and write words.
“Ari helps read to Frances now. Her reading ability is so advanced. I can also see how advanced Frances is at almost 4 years old with her ability to recognize letters, numbers, and identify words on sight,” Hannah says when asked about her children’s progress.
“I was in the shower one day and the glass was foggy from the heat,” Hannah says. “Ari wrote on the glass, ‘I love you, Mama’. My heart is full at my daughter’s expression of love and I know that without programs supported through United Way such as Ferst books, Ari might not have been able to write her feelings as a six year old like she can today.”