During the more than two decades of managing her first nonprofit organization, Founder Betty J. Mohlenbrock, M.Ed. was able to witness the impact that reading aloud with young children has on people of all ages, not just the child or parents. Her findings, coupled with the personal belief that youth are a powerful and important resource for the future of society, led her to begin shaping the framework for programs that would positively impact all children and youth, especially those who are underserved and at-risk for failure in school and life.
Our Board of Trustees and Advisory Council are comprised of a diverse group of individuals who are committed to the fulfillment of our mission and vision. Our philosophy is to encourage volunteerism in our programs, create and sustain a broad base of funding support, and grow an endowment for the stability and legacy of our mission into the future.
Betty's background in primary education and nonprofit management has uniquely prepared her for the role of Founder and President of Reading Legacies. Her first nonprofit organization, United Through Reading (UTR), benefited over one million military service members and their families during her 20 years of leadership. Upon turning over the reins of UTR in 2008, she launched Reading Legacies in 2010 in order to reach out to children and youth who lack the emotional support of committed role models or whose lives have been torn apart by parental incarceration. Reading Legacies provides solutions to these devastating societal challenges through the transformational power of the shared-reading experience.
Reading Legacies is honored and privileged to carry on the legacy of Stephen R. Lewis, M.D., beloved and respected physician, and family friend. His life was an exemplary model of dedication to family and community, and a strong belief in providing a foundation for children and youth to be successful in life. To that end, our Board of Trustees has established the Stephen R. Lewis, M.D. Legacy Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation with the purpose of funding the leadership position of Reading Legacies, the Stephen R. Lewis, M.D. Presidential Chair.
Reading Legacies is working closely with his family to deliver programs with highest integrity that will fulfill his vision for children and youth. The Board is both grateful for and humbled by the generosity of so many of Steve's family and friends. We extend our special thanks to the CareFusion Foundation for their generous tribute of love and respect for him. Together, we are paying a high tribute to this wonderful man's life. In order to participate in this Legacy Fund, simply make note of this on your contribution. If you desire further information, please contact us.
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Research has demonstrated that parents' involvement with their children's educational activities, particularly reading, translates into increased interest and, ultimately, achievement in school. For incarcerated parents, reading programs provide an opportunity to reestablish parental roles, reassure the children of their continued love, and encourage the children's reading behavior. For the children of incarcerated parents, such reading programs stimulate interest in reading, which is a necessary precursor to reading achievement and, ultimately, academic success. Thus, prison reading programs feed two birds with one seed by benefiting inmates and their children in numerous ways. The Family Connections program offered by Reading Legacies is a popular, promising program for incarcerated parents and their children. ("Family Connections: The Importance of Prison Reading Programs for Incarcerated Parents and Their Children" by Daniel M. Blumberg & Dawn A. Griffin (2013) Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 52:4, page 265)
“Our vision is that all children and youth feel valued and encouraged through time spent with family and community members in shared-reading experiences.”
“To empower children and youth as valued family and community members through intergenerational shared-reading experiences.”