Page Turners Make Great Learners: The Joy of Reading

Page Turners Make Great Learners: The Joy of Reading

FeFe Handy, founder and executive director of Page Turners Make Great Learners.
Photo by Christopher Moore.

“Reading sparks creativity and imagination in our children.”

Each month we highlight a community program that aligns with the values of SoulVision Magazine. We believe engaging with one’s community is critical to fostering positive change in the world.

Page Turners Make Great Learners was created by Founder and Executive Director FeFe Handy. Page Turners is a literacy nonprofit partnering with elementary, middle, and high schools in the Atlanta area. “An integral part of our work includes hosting award-winning author visits (in-person before Covid-19 and virtual), read-a-thons and book clubs, and providing books for children who live in low-income communities,” FeFe says. Authors that she has hosted include Jason Reynolds, Jeff Kinney, Sharon Draper, Meena Harris, Raina Telgemeier, Angie Thomas, and others. This past summer, Page Turners hosted and interviewed award-winning actress and activist (and now children’s book author) Gabrielle Union in support of her first children’s book, Welcome to the Party.

Page Turners Make Great Learners partners with Mercedes-Benz to encourage students to read by acknowledging students who read at least 1,000,000 words. Lillian was selected as a Mercedes-Benz Literacy Ambassador. Photo courtesy of Page Turners Make Great Learners.

The idea started from FeFe wanting to get her daughter to read more books. So FeFe did what any good mother would do—make it fun. She started a book club to get her child excited about reading. She brought the idea to her daughter’s school and they loved it. It turned into not simply a book club, but an opportunity for field trips and visits from guest authors to talk with the students. In 2005, FeFe filed for 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, and Page Turners in its current inception was born.

In light of schools closing due to the pandemic, Page Turners hosted a virtual book club program. Over 550 elementary-age students throughout metro Atlanta participated and each received two books to help with building their home library. Teachers were encouraged to have their students discuss and write about the text so they could get a more comprehensive understanding of what they read.

Page Turners Make Great Learners donates books to students/families at schools that were set up as food distribution centers during the pandemic. The objective: “feed bodies and brains.” Photo courtesy of Page Turners Make Great Learners.

FeFe is looking at new ways to engage educators as well. As an extension of her work with Page Turners, FeFe says she is launching a podcast called Pass the Book to FeFe. The podcast is geared towards educators and librarians. “I will talk with award-winning authors, literacy specialists, and librarians about books and reading,” she says. “Doors of opportunity continue to open. I am so excited about my upcoming interview and virtual visit with poet, activist, and author, Cleo Wade, the ‘Millennial Oprah’ according to New York Magazine.”

All in all, FeFe wants reading to be a favorite activity of all children. “I will continue to grow the Page Turners Make Great Learners brand and work to become an influential champion of reading for black and brown children.”

To learn how you can support Page Turners Make Great Learners, visit their website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.