The 11Alive Community 2005 Service Award

Recognized as an outstanding local volunteer who has demonstrated selfless devotion for the betterment of her community, Robin Ferst Howser, Founder & Chair of Ferst Readers, has been chosen as a 2005 recipient of the 2005 11Alive Community Service Award.

Originating her literacy efforts in her very own neighborhood of Morgan County, Robin has since expanded her definition of “community” to include the entire state of Georgia. Under her tutelage, Ferst Readers now serves children under the age of 5 in the following communities: Butts, Calhoun, Carroll, Catoosa, Dade, Effingham, Greene, Hancock, Hart, Jasper, Meriwether, Morgan, Newton, Putnam, Seminole, Taliaferro, Walker, and Washington Counties as well as the residents of the John Hope Elementary School district in Atlanta, and G.O Bailey Elementary School district in Tift County.

Read more: The 11Alive Community 2005 Service Award

A Shining Star of the 2009 Legislative Session

Robin Ferst was named a Shining Start of the 2009 Legislative Session. Comments were read on the floor of the Georgia House of Representatives on January 26, 2009 by Representative Bob Smith.

"We are so proud and thankful of all that you have accomplished. You set a fine example for what is great about Georgia. We wish you the best and many successes in the future."
~ Representative Bob Smith, District 113

Literacy Facts

Did You Know?

  • 1 in 5 of our children lives in poverty
  • Approximately 61 percent of low-income families do not have a single piece of reading material suitable for a child
  • A third of our children come to school unprepared to learn
  • One in four children in America grow up without learning how to read
  • The only behavior measure that correlates significantly with reading scores is the number of books in the home
  • Students who do not read proficiently by the 3rd grade are 4 times likelier to drop out of school
  • Children from middle-income homes have on average 13 books per child. There is only one book for every 300 children in low-income neighborhoods


With your help, this can change…

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Ensuring that children develop early literacy skills is one of the most important things we can do - as parents, as teachers - and as a society.

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