In the summer of 2016 recent OSU graduate, Jack Grote, was looking for a way to give back to his community. He had always been passionate about reading—a passion his parents had blessed him with from an early age—and he thought that he’d like to find a way to share this passion with the next generation.
With the help of his mother, Gina, he narrowed his focus to the issue of early childhood literacy, recognizing the impact that the time his parents had spent reading with him as a child had had on his development and success in life. Jack and Gina did their research and discovered just how big the issue of early childhood literacy was in poor communities: children in low-income households have far less access to books and are read with much less often than their peers in wealthier households.
The two of them decided to do something about it.
They went to work, assembling their founding Board of Directors and establishing a program that would partner with organizations that provide childcare services to low-income communities. The foundation’s volunteers would visit the centers and read with the children there one-on-one. Jack and Gina emphasized this aspect of their program, not only because they felt that it differentiated them from other organizations that were addressing the same issue, but also because they truly felt that one-on-one reading is one of the most important factors in a child’s development into a well-prepared, confident individual.
They soon found a willing partner in the Liberty Community Center in Delaware, Ohio. Working with students from the local high schools, the Same Page Foundation kicked off its pilot program in January 2017.