FeFe Handy, Founder and Executive Director, of Page Turners Make Great Learners freely admits that she is “the by-product of a great-grandmother-raised household.” It was FeFe’s great-grandmother, Katie McLaurin’s unwavering sense of honor and humility for her personal “heart” work that helped to shape FeFe’s unique and rewarding view of the world. “God has allowed my life to be a blessing for others and I am happiest when I choose to live by this guiding principle,” said FeFe; “it’s my daily mantra!”
It is very clear that FeFe Handy’s blessings are of benefit to so many children right here in Atlanta. Through her dedication to Page Turners Make Great Learners, an Atlanta based not for profit organization that she founded in 2003, FeFe has been working to change the lives of children everywhere through reading. Page Turners Make Great learners is making a difference in the lives of children around Atlanta by expanding children’s knowledge and understanding of the world, themselves, and their unique possibilities through the love of reading.
“When my daughter was in the second grade, she began to struggle with reading, and I knew that I wanted to play an integral role in helping her find enjoyment in reading.” FeFe’s plan was simple; to create a space where her daughter and friends would feel comfortable reading and discussing books. Over time FeFe even added a special guest visitor after every book as a way to celebrate the children’s reading accomplishments. This creative solution to a common problem would be the catalyst that FeFe needed to create Page Turners Make Great Learners.
“It is through the generosity of our partners that we are able to provide books, fieldtrips to the Center for Puppetry Arts, High Museum of Art, and Alliance Theatre, as well as hire seasoned teachers to assist in bolstering student’s reading skills,” said FeFe. “PNC Bank is instrumental in helping us to increase our footprint here in Atlanta today; and, over the last five years, by helping with our summer book club for elementary students.” FeFe went on to say that because of PNC Bank, “Page Turners Make Great Learners has been able to embark on our first Kindergarten Book Club and to expand our work beyond the summer and into the school year by partnering with the Alliance Theatre Institute.”
Page Turners Make Great Learners hosts read-a-thons throughout Atlanta that offer corporations such as PNC Bank an ability to create literary opportunities where they could volunteer and see the direct impact of their service. “It is hard to determine who had the better time, the students or the volunteers.” In addition, through an incredible partnership with the Metro Atlanta Transit Authority, Page Turners Make Great Learner’s Storybus has been able to cultivate important relationships with publishing houses and award-winning authors. Most low-income schools have never had author visits because they are expensive and the schools simply do not have the budget. Page Turners Make Great Learners in conjunction with their corporate partners have hosted over twelve famous authors in many of Atlanta’s low-income schools to date and there are more in the works for the future.
“It is our hope, that through reading, our students will come to recognize that self-improvement is self-empowerment and that true power is knowledge”, said FeFe. “Our greatest hope is that our students lives will be changed because of our work and that their success in life maters; to give them a voice and for them to know that someone cares about what they have to say.”
If you would like more information about how to become involved with Page Turners Make Great Learners or how to sponsor a read-a-thon please go to www.pageturnersgreatlearners.org for more information.