We had the pleasure of welcoming Miss Mississippi 2015, Hannah Roberts, to our campus recently! She is the founder of Pages of Love and wanted to personally bring a donation of books for all of our children. She brought over 300 books for all levels of reading skills and we know the children will enjoy and delight in them!
Here is more information about her charity, Pages of Love:
As a child, I was frequently in and out of doctors’ offices with respiratory problems. My parents would encourage me to take a book to help pass the time while I was at the clinic. As a result, I always had a book in my hand, and my love for literature has continued into adulthood. In 2005, I founded Pages of Love with a donation of 50 books to my family physician’s office. Having developed my own love of reading and remembering how much easier clinic visits were when I brought a book, I wanted to ensure that children had access to books and a sense of comfort before seeing the doctor. Now, 10 years later, Pages of Love has evolved from a 12-year-old girl’s desire to bring the joys of reading to others into a major program that has collected and distributed over 25,000 books to hospitals, clinics, children’s homes, tutoring centers, and shelters across 5 states and 2 countries. Pages of Love aims to not only provide books to children but also to educate children and adults on the importance of early literacy.
The issue of illiteracy is often a taboo subject within our country. In my home state, literacy rates in adults and children are some of the lowest in the nation. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, 79% of fourth graders in Mississippi cannot read at grade level. However, Mississippi is not the only state with these issues; it is a nationwide problem when one in four children grows up without learning to read. This statistic clearly indicates that literacy is not being well established at a young age. Illiteracy is a perpetual cycle in many families when generations after generations are hindered because of lack of adequate reading skills. One way to address the illiteracy epidemic is by providing books to children and encouraging reading for enjoyment, not just for required schoolwork. In order for children to be interested in learning to read, they must first be enticed by books and literature. Pages of Love is purposed to provide children with a range of free reading material that can be used to foster a love of reading, to distract from a medical procedure, or to provide a calming activity for a child. Pages of Love is more than just my platform; it encompasses two of my greatest passions – health care and literacy.
Many thanks to Hannah for thinking of Hope Village and including us in her busy schedule!