Doug Chadwick
Co-Founder/Master Builder

Doug Chadwick

Douglas has been volunteering for over 20 years with various inner city children focused charities. He even became a volunteer firefighter because he wanted to give back to his community. For the last 15 years his volunteer efforts have been in the Los Angeles and Cleveland areas focused on literacy and education.

Douglas is The Literacy Club’s Master Builder.  His artistry and engineering is why we have been able to create over 70 amazing book boxes (aka libraries).  These book boxes are both indoor and outdoor.  The indoor ones are located in the lobbies of police stations throughout Los Angeles & Cleveland, homeless shelters, community parks, courthouses to name a few and the outdoor are located from California to Ohio and include themes like Cat in The Hat, Tinkerbell, Star Wars, Airplanes, Equestrian, One Fish/Two Fish, and many more.

When he and his wife started building book boxes back in 2013, he had no idea how important and inspiring they would be. A

He and his wife have focused their passion for literacy and education by establishing The Literacy Club.  In 2017 chartered the Kiwanis Literacy Club of Southern California, becoming the 1st single purpose club focused solely on literacy.

As a child his passion for reading included the complete Tom Swift series and any Encyclopedia he could get his hands on.   His current stable of authors include:  Jonathan and Faye Kellerman, Zachariah Sitchen, Michael Connelly, Dr. Seuss and Michael Crichton.

Jean Chadwick
Co-Founder/Executive Director

Jean Chadwick

Jean’s story of the Power of Books is The Literacy Club’s origin story.  When faced with abandonment and homelessness as a teenager, Jean make a decision that she would beat the odds and leverage the Power of Books by using reading as a primary tool to keep herself in school.   However, one of her proudest and most profound moments was when she was adopted at the age of 15.  Her new family created two of the most important moments in her life 1) They promised never to give her back and 2) they handed her The Chronicles of Narnia and told her to go read them … and start with The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe.   While she understood the power of reading, it was the first time anyone in her life had suggested that she could read for fun, to escape, to dream, to laugh or image beyond her circumstances.  That is when she truly understood how powerful books could be.  You see at that moment, she was able to forget about being scared or in a new family she was able to escape into the power of the books she was reading.   She has committed herself to creating moments for children everywhere to truly understand the Power of Books.

She makes many of the designs for our book boxes, organizes our events and book distributions and represents The Literacy Club at events throughout the US spreading the word on the important of literacy and the power of books.   Jean is also the President of the Kiwanis Literacy Club of Southern California which was established in 2017 as the first Kiwanis International club focused solely on literacy.

Her favorite books … well The Chronicles of Narnia will always be at the top of the list.  However, she is happy whenever she can read books to kids.

Kendall McCollum
Director/Secretary

Kendall McCollum

Kendall is an educator and administrator with over 10 years of experience working with youth in various fields. She has been the assistant director of Camp programs, taught elementary school and ran small counseling groups at elementary schools in Norwalk. Currently, Kendall acts as a Client Manager for a small Law Firm in Glendale.

Kendall received her BA in Humanities for Teaching from Seattle University’s Matteo Ricci College and earned her MA in Mental Health Counseling from Loyola Marymount University. In her free time Kendall likes to quilt, make pottery and flower arrangements, work on her mid-century house and hang out with her dogs.

Literacy is important because it truly opens doors for people. It is the first step in building more capable and confident individuals who can ultimately make the world a better place. Every person, both children and adults, should have unobstructed access to reading materials, no matter their financial situation.

Her favorite books are: The sound and the fury- William Faulkner; The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared-Jonas Jonasson; Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore – Robin Sloan; Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Truman Capote; Silly Sally – Audrey Wood.

Christopher Pollard

Christopher Pollard

After proudly serving his country in the US Navy for 20 years, Christopher retired in 2016 and decided it he wanted to continue to serve but this time by creating opportunities for children to be inspired through reading.  You see Christopher is one of those people who when you ask what his favorite book is he would say “Yes all of them”.  He loves reading and will tell you that the words on the pages of a book actually are more real and vibrant than watching a movie.   Even at a young age when he read a book he could escape into the story through the words.   Nowadays he is helping to build our book boxes and every chance he is helping in our mission of Seeding Book Deserts ™ and inspiring kids through reading.

Sheryl Flanagan
Director

Sheryl Flanagan

Sheryl has a Bachelors in Social Work and a commitment to finding solutions for children.  She is focused on under served and low income families as a case worker with Family Pride of Northeastern Ohio.    She sees first hand how important it is to get kids reading as early as possible.

Her commitment to children, literacy and creating opportunity for those who’s voice is not loud enough to be heard makes her such an amazing part of our team.

Chris Chadwick
Director

Chris Chadwick

Chris lives on the shores of Lake Erie in Ohio with his beautiful wife, Noel, four children–Emilee, Zachary, Trinity and Zoe – four King Shepherds (Nickodemus, Gracie, Baron & Kane) and a ridiculous amount of cats. He is a military veteran and Manager of Operations for a nationwide engineering, inspection and nondestructive testing firm.

“Reading makes you smarter,” says Keith Stanovich, a psychologist at the University of Toronto, and he has shown experimentally that this claim applies to children as well as adults. Teaching children to read not only gives them access to knowledge from print, but also makes them better able to use that knowledge. Children who read store up background knowledge about the things they read about, whether it be nature, science, history, current events, or geography (Stanovich, 1992). Having background knowledge helps readers make sense of the new things they read (Anderson & Pearson, 1984). Children who read gain bigger vocabularies, too (Smith, 1997), and having bigger vocabularies enables them to notice things (Brown, 1955) and to make finer distinctions in their perceptions of the world (Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002).

Literacy helps children to think in more sophisticated ways. Studies have shown that reading proficiency makes profound differences in people’s reasoning, their awareness of language, their understanding of themselves, and even their ability to formulate questions and learn about things they didn’t know (Luria, 1976). Children who read and talk about books with others show greater self-awareness and critical thinking (Almasi, 1995), tend to engage ideas more deeply (Eeds & Wells, 1989; Goatley, Brock, & Raphael, 1995), and are more likely to perceive themes in stories; that is, they are more likely to get the message (Lehr, 1991).
[From: Temple, C., D. Ogle, A. Crawford, and P. Freppon (2014). All Children Read, 4th Edition. New York: Pearson.]

His favorite book-The Outsiders-S.E. Hinton and his some of his favorite authors are:
Anything by Lewis Carrol, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Isaac Asimov, Daniel Dennett, Lawrence Krauss or Carl Sagan. Almost anything pertaining to science, physics, and cosmology, history and current events.