Mission Statement

Our mission at Ferst Readers Henry is to strengthen Henry County by providing children and their families with quality books and useful literacy resources at home during the earliest stages of development.

Early Reading Benefits

The key is to start at birth. Immersing a child in a rich literacy environment is a strong predictor of literacy and academic achievement. The more words a child hears, the larger the child's vocabulary, and the larger the child's vocabulary, the more likely the child will be a proficient reader.

Our Primary Focus

Ferst Readers primary focus is to move the needle on 3rd grade reading proficiency. A child who does not read at grade level by 3rd grade is 4 times more likely to drop out of school. We want to give every child the best chance to succeed in school and in life.


In Their Own Words...

``We know the single-most important skill that any person can acquire in their lifetime is the ability to read. Reading opens up endless possibilities for people to grow and become anything they desire to be. As a career-educator, my colleagues and I make it our mission to provide the basis for all students to be able to read on grade level and above each year they are in school. However, we know the ability to read starts before students even step foot inside of one of our classrooms. Successful readers have their foundation laid at home, but not every family has access to quality reading materials for our youngest learners. Enter the Ferst Foundation of Henry County. Now known as the Ferst Readers of Henry County, this organization is going above and beyond to make sure children in Henry County have access to books and other literacy support at the earliest ages in order for these young learners to be able to enter school ready to excel. No child should be void of opportunities to read or be read to prior to starting school. No child should be limited in their access to quality reading materials for any reason. The Ferst Readers of Henry County works diligently to make sure neither scenario happens, and we could not be more grateful for their efforts. There are many community partners who support their efforts, and we are proud to be partners, too. Our schools and district leaders have backed the efforts of the Ferst Foundation for many years, and efforts to provide financial support through fundraisers and awareness campaigns continues to prove pivotal for the organization's sustained success. I am so proud to live in a community that values the importance of reading and early childhood literacy, and I am proud to be a supporter of this outstanding organization alongside business and community leaders who have the same values and hopes for our future generations.``

Dr. Mary Elizabeth Davis

Superintendent, Henry County Schools

``My name is Felicia and I am a mom of three with an infant that's 4 months old. I wanted to reach out and say thank you. I currently live in Henry county and just recently began receiving our books from the Ferst Readers program! I am so happy to be a part of this program. I was a single mom for years before I met my husband and moved to Georgia. I am from Washington, D.C., and as a teen mom, taking my boys to the library and reading with them was the only free gift I could give them. We would spend hours at the library just reading and exploring. This gift has allowed my 3rd grader to be an exceptional reader and my 7th grader to also score so high on reading tests. Reading has allowed me to give them something that some children in my community don't get--the opportunity to imagine and dream. Now that I have a new baby I have opened this door for her as well. I'm just so excited to get a book for my baby girl every month to add to our home library. Thank you so much for this resource! Have a great day on purpose!``

Felicia Glover

Henry County Parent

``My daughter was a recipient of Ferst books. She is now in the 10th grade and loves to read. She aspires to be an actress and I think this is due to her love of the narrative. As a 6th grader, my daughter was chosen as the Georgia Reader of the Year for middle schools. I believe her early introduction to books through Ferst Readers had a major impact on her reading success. Going to the mailbox to retrieve the books each month is a memory we both cherish. I am paying it forward. My school has a lofty goal this year to fundraise for Ferst Readers. We hope to lead the way in Henry County!``

LaRita Wiggins

Parent and Principal, McDonough Middle School

``The goal of the Taylor Family Foundation is to help nonprofits build a strong collective voice and impact in their communities. We look for inspirational organizations that embody the values and beliefs at the core of the Taylor Family. We are proud to support the FERST Readers program by providing books to children. The Taylor Family Foundation understands the importance of early childhood education. We will continue to help our local FERST Readers chapter to reach their goal of providing a book to every child under the age of five.``

Lynette Mathis, Donor Administrator & Marcia Taylor, Founder

Taylor Family Foundation

``I am a middle school teacher and a Ferst Champion at my school. I?ve seen first-hand how an early and solid foundation in reading paves the way for a child to succeed in school and beyond. Sadly, I?ve seen the results of a poor foundation as well. In 2017-18, I assigned a large project to students in my Literacy classes. I wanted to expose them to charitable causes and philanthropy in general. Specifically, I wanted them to learn about Ferst Readers. They were tasked with researching Ferst and planning and implementing a school-wide fundraiser. My students studied the ferstreaders.org website, learned about the importance of early exposure to books, and discovered the effort right here in Henry County to provide free books to all preschool children. They created posters, sold tickets to a dance during the last week of the school year, and at the dance, they spoke to a minimum of three peers about the organization. By the end of the dance, they managed to raise over $1000 for Ferst Readers!``

Sandra Crum

Literacy Teacher, Stockbridge Middle School

``Heritage Bank supports the Ferst Readers because, through its efforts to provide books to young children, it helps foster a quest for knowledge, the cultivation of language skills, the discovery of new and different worlds and stimulates a sense of diversity in the youth of tomorrow.``

Kerry Arnold

Senior Vice President, The First Bank; Heritage Community Foundation


Ferst Readers mails quality, age-specific books each month free of charge to children, birth to age five, who are registered in Henry County. These are quality books, carefully selected for maximum developmental impact. A child who is registered at birth, and receives a book every month until age five will have a rich home library of 60 books! Each book mailed comes with a useful parent newsletter which includes book guides, activities, and resources all specifically designed to make reading fun for the whole family. For only $42, you ensure that one preschool child will receive 12 books in a year. Your investment in one child will yield a lifetime of dividends!

Reading Readiness

Reading readiness has a profound long-term impact on a child's performance in school and in life. We believe that investment in children is essential for a strong community and a viable economy. Help us help the children in our community.

How You Can Help...

Sponsor a Child

With a donation of $42 you can ensure that a preschool child right here in your community will receive a quality, age-appropriate book every month for one year. All of the books are carefully selected by experts in the fields of early child development and education. The books are mailed directly to the child and they are free! Each book mailed comes with a useful parent newsletter, with book guides, activities and resources all specifically designed to make reading fun for the whole family! It costs only $40 to provide the essential ingredient to help one child books. With your support, we will continue to make a difference in the lives of children by helping them achieve early learning success through the gift of literacy a gift that will last a lifetime. Give the gift of literacy. Give a child a chance. Choose Donate Now.


Join Henry Hundred

Our strongest supporters have pledged to donate $100 per year. Henry Hundred donors strongly believe that our next generation of leaders are worth the investment. The Henry Hundred is a fun-loving, community-supporting group of Henry County citizens who commit to an annual donation of $100 to Ferst Readers of Henry County. Once a year, Henry Hundred members are invited to a reception with food, drinks, and entertainment. Ferst Readers of Henry County is grateful that we can rely on the support of over 130 generous citizens each year. This allows us to continue to be the difference in the lives of children, by helping them achieve early learning success through the gift of literacy a gift that will last a lifetime. Contact Us to find out how you can join Henry Hundred, and stay tuned for information on our next Henry Hundred social event.


Participate in a Special Event

Join your friends, neighbors, colleagues, and community leaders, each year for the Ferst Readers of Henry County Spring Luncheon. Come enjoy good food, great entertainment, terrific door prizes, and a celebration of the impact we've made on the lives of children and families in Henry County. Stay tuned for information about the 12th Annual Ferst Readers of Henry County Spring Luncheon 2019. The Ferst Readers / Henry County Schools Fundraiser lasts throughout the school year. Ferst Readers has a longstanding partnership with Henry County Schools to raise awareness and funds for the purchase of Ferst books for preschool children in our community. Educators understand that children who are exposed to books and language from birth, arrive at Kindergarten with the better literacy skills, are better readers, and are more likely to succeed academically. Each school determines the nature of their fundraiser(s) and Ferst volunteers are available to help out. Whether you are a school system employee or an interested community volunteer, we would love for you to join this effort. Why not join us as we seek to break our record and partner with all 51 schools this year? Contact Us to see how you can help.


Volunteer Your Time and Talents

Join our Community Action Team, or CAT, a dedicated all-volunteer team. We organize the fundraisers to fund the purchase of books for Henry County preschoolers. Also, we register the infants and children who will receive the books, and we partner with other local organizations to promote literacy. We meet 3 times each year in McDonough. Contact Us for more information or to let us know you'd like to join us