Weather for the Following Location: Chattanooga on Map

Chattanooga Man Cultivates Childhood Literacy with Reading Garden Initiative

Children reading in garden.

Chattanooga Man Cultivates Childhood Literacy with Reading Garden Initiative

Curbing the Illiteracy Crisis through Innovative Methods

A Chattanooga local is taking an innovative approach to combat the pressing childhood illiteracy issue in the United States. Statistics presented by Fordham University suggest that 1 in 4 children in the US grow up without learning how to read. A significant contribution to the figures, they propose, is that students lack access to reading materials after school. In an inspiring attempt to curb this crisis, Chattanooga’s Eric Smith has grown a garden – a Reading Garden.

Tending to the Roots of Reading

Eric created a vibrant, alluring garden to help engage local children and cultivate their love for reading. His non-profit organization, “Reading Changes Lives,” operates in this space – a unique outdoor learning facility. Here, Chattanooga’s children are encouraged to cultivate a love for literature.

A Tribute to His Roots

The conception of the Reading Garden was colored by Eric’s personal motivation. Eric’s parents, sharecroppers from Alabama, were unable to read. In their honor and memory, Eric pieced together the garden, stressing the importance of literacy – a privilege his parents did not have the chance to acquire.

Enlisting the Local Fire Department for Support

During the project’s early stages, Eric sought assistance from Chattanooga’s Fire Department, specifically firefighter Allen Green. The Fire Department, sharing Eric’s vision, also runs programsto assist children in learning to read. Their engagement with local students is instrumental, helping to build positive relationships and a stimulating learning environment.

A Generous Surprise in the Garden

In a recent initiative, Eric was invited to Barn Nursery, which supports the Literacy Garden. Unbeknownst to him, a special surprise awaited him at the nursery. The McMahan Law Firm, recognizing Eric’s impactful community work, gifted Eric $500. This generous surprise was intended to help Eric continue expanding his initiative and fund the purchase of much-needed supplies for the literacy garden. Adding to the day’s excitement, the Barn Nursery also extended a gift certificate to Eric worth $250 to support his efforts further.

Preserving the Garden of Knowledge

Eric owns the property on which his Literate Garden stands. Despite the site’s potential value, Eric refused to trade his cause for profit. He adamantly maintains that whatever may happen, the land is reserved to remain a Literacy Garden forever, embodying the love and value of reading for generations to come.

Join the Journey, Turning Over New Leaves

If you wish to learn more about ‘Reading Changes Lives’ and their Literacy Garden initiative, or perhaps nominate a deserving personality for a $500 surprise, in conjunction with the McMahan Law Firm, follow this link. As long as there are seeds to be planted and stories to be read, the work of fostering a love for reading among our children does not end. Join us on this journey and see a whole new world unfold.

HERE News Network, Chattanooga

Leave a Reply

Sign up for our Newsletter