ajama Program’s fourth Reading Center opened its doors in Atlanta on June 13, as the First Lady of Georgia, Sandra Deal, officially cut the ribbon alongside our Founder, Genevieve Piturro, and Michael Casey, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Carter’s, Inc.
At the opening, Sandtown Middle School students and teacher Daniel Solammon gave a special performance of Ray Charles’ “Georgia on My Mind,” followed by story-time with First Lady Deal, who read aloud with local children. Actor and former NFL player Sergio Joachim, also appeared for a special activity with the teenagers. To close, First Lady Deal and Michael Casey presented the young people with new pajamas and books.
Atlanta is an ideal location for the newest Reading Center given the strong need in the area as well as the long-term support from Carter’s, whose headquarters are in the city. Led by a dedicated staff and volunteers, the Atlanta Reading Center will offer a variety of programming for children from preschool through high school.
More than 10,000 children have visited Pajama Program’s Reading Centers in the past five years. Whereas thousands of organizations focus on improving children’s literacy skills, these Reading Centers are special in their focus on human connection: they bring people together, regardless of their reading abilities, through the joy of sharing stories. By reading together, volunteers help build trust with children and inspire them to imagine worlds beyond their circumstances. At the end of the program, children are presented with magical gifts of pajamas and storybooks of their very own.
“Often, these pajamas and books are the first new things these children have ever received,” says Piturro. “They leave the Reading Center with gifts to help transform their reality: new pajamas keep them warm and feeling cared for, and a storybook serves to open their imaginations at bedtime that night, and every night to come. We are so grateful to Carter’s for welcoming us to Atlanta and for their team’s creative and logistical leadership.”
Proud sponsors of the Pajama Program Reading Center in Atlanta was made possible through the
generous support of: Carter’s Inc., Scholastic, Target, The Ganek Foundation, The Elf on the Shelf, The Atlanta Woman’s Club Education Committee, Mannington Flooring, Caleb Onsite Wood Work, Pinniger Family, Baker’s Man, and U.S. Electric Supply.