Georgia CEOs Compete to Bring Books to Children

    (GEORGIA) – Feb 5, 2010 –     The CEOs and Presidents of Georgia’s top universities and corporations are doing battle this month, and the "friendly fire" will benefit children across the state.  This competition does not happen on a football field or a basketball court; it happens on the Internet in support of a program that brings joy as well as literacy skills to young children.

In March of this year, The Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy will celebrate its 10th anniversary of introducing children to the wonderful world of books and helping prepare them for school.  The presidents of The University of Georgia, Georgia State University and Georgia Institute of Technology  and favorite enterprises  have stepped forward and challenged their students, colleagues, alumni, clients, employees and friends to take on the challenge of being declared the Favorite Reader as well as raising funds to help the Ferst Foundation expand its reach into more communities in Georgia.

The Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy (FFCL) began with 1,000 children in Morgan County, Georgia, through the efforts of Robin Ferst, who modeled her program on the Imagination Library initiative begun by musician and philanthropist Dolly Parton in Tennessee.  The program sends age-appropriate books directly to the home of each registered child from birth until the age of five.

The FFCL strives to improve early learning opportunities for every Georgia child.  Robin Ferst, an Atlanta businesswoman and philanthropist, began the organization with the philosophy that any child who cannot read is at-risk and the best way to ensure success in school is to encourage reading at home from an early age.  Through her efforts and the support of a growing number of individuals and community partners (Community Action Teams or CATs), the Foundation over the last 10 years has sent more than 1.7 million books to over 90,000 Georgia pre-school children in 70 counties.

"Reading is vital to success in school and in life," Foundation President Robin Ferst says.  And these CEOs/Presidents agree -"Literacy is the key to success and begins in the home.  Parents should read to their children every day beginning when a baby is just a few months old," these advocates assert, and the Ferst Foundation works to ensure that there are quality, age-appropriate books in every child’s home.

To celebrate the program’s success and promote awareness, the Ferst Foundation, with its corporate partners, have launched the First Annual For the Love of Reading Battle for Childhood Literacy.  FFCL has recruited top executives from across Georgia to participate in this friendly competition highlighting one of the easiest ways to improve a child’s school preparedness — reading to him or her daily.

The CEOs were recently videotaped reading a favorite children’s book to a group of youngsters.  The videos will be posted on the Ferst Foundation web site ( and visitors to the site are asked to vote for their favorite video and in support of their favorite CEO.  Individuals watch the videos and then vote once per day for free and as many times as they want with a $3.00 contribution to the Foundation which will go to support more books sent to the homes of Georgia children.

Participating CEOs (Presidents) include:

University Presidents:

Dr. Michael F. Adams – President, The University of Georgia

Dr. Michael P. Becker – President, Georgia State University

Dr. G. P. "Bud" Peterson  – President, Georgia Institute of Technology
Chief Executive Officers:

Mr. John F. Brock – Chairman and CEO, Coca-Cola Enterprises

Mr. J. Randall Carroll – Vice Chairman, Bank of North Georgia, CEO, Bank of Coweta
Mr. David Murphy – President and CEO, BetterWorldBooks

Ms. Alicia Phillip –  with the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

Mr. Elton Potts – Group President and COO, Recall Corporation
Mr. Gary Price – Managing Partner, PriceWaterhouseCoopers

To "vote" in the CEO competition, make a donation to the FFCL or for more information about the work of the Ferst Foundation, visit the web site at

To interview FFCL President, Robin Ferst, contact her at 404-355-9935 or

Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy focuses on assisting local communities to provide Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library books and family literacy support materials at no charge to children from birth to 5 years of age throughout Georgia.  Ferst Foundation’s program provides a unique opportunity for us all to invest in the education of young Georgians.  A small investment of only $36/child per year can have a huge economic impact on the future workforce of the State.  Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy


Contact:  Shauna von Hanstein – 1-888-565 0177     



Scroll to Top