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 professional career covers a multitude of expertise ranging from a carpenter to a nuclear inspector. Douglas who is now semi-retired continues to enjoy building almost anything, but mostly building little libraries that are installed throughout the book deserts in our communities. When he is not building he is creating board games with one of his sons.

Douglas has been known to describe himself as an inventor and dreamer. He enjoys creating and building anything from a house to a little library as long as it brings joy!

When he and his wife started building portable little libraries back in 2013, he had no idea how important and amazing these libraries would be. After building over 30 so far, you can over hear him saying that building the libraries is one of the most fulfilling things he has ever done.

He and his wife have focused their passion for literacy and education by establishing The Literacy Club.

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 is the driving force behind creating The Literacy Club. She experienced firsthand how hard it can be to defy odds that tried to limit her potential and define her destiny. Jean realized at a very young age that we are all influenced by our circumstances, but we do not have to be defined by them. She was very blessed to have been adopted as a teenager by some amazing people. Along with giving her a family and a home, they help to ignite her passion for literacy and reading. That happened when they handed her The Chronicles of Narina and encouraged her to go read the books.

That was really the first time someone had suggested that reading could be both fun and practical. That was a pivotal moment when she truly understood how powerful and important reading is. Not just reading to learn, but to be inspired and dream. Through reading, she realized that she could be bigger than any moment! It was then she knew what an amazing tool reading can be for everyone.

Whether she is mentoring or finding opportunities to encourage others to read and dream, she has worked to find solutions to ending our book deserts and inspiring others to believe beyond the moment. That is where the passion to create The Literacy Club first began and partnered with her husband to create libraries that inspire! Together they believe that no one has to be defined by their circumstances and everyone deserves an opportunity for more!

Kendall McCollum
Director/Community Currator

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.

Burlinda Seals
Director

Burlinda Seals

Burlinda is a passionate education and mental health advocate and firmly believes reading can transform a life. She was blessed enough to have a teacher for a mother, a woman who instilled a devoted love of the written word in Burlinda at a very young age. Her mother loved to teach children how to read, saying you could see the world opening up to them for the first time. Burlinda’s work with The Literacy Club is a way to continue her mother’s legacy and further her desire to empower children and adults alike.

Burlinda received her BA in Psychology from UCLA and has worked in some capacity with children for many years. She’s served as an interventionist for kids with autism, a private tutor for gifted children, and most recently worked as a counselor at a crisis line. She’s currently applying to graduate programs in School Psychology.

She loves to read almost anything, from science to children’s books. She’s endlessly rereading Harry Potter and Mary Poppins, and loves John Irving, Hemingway, Stephen King, and Sarah Vowell.

Sheryl Flanagan
Director/Community Curator

Sheryl Flanagan

Chris Chadwick
Director/Community Curator

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.

Director

Benj Hamilton

Benj is the father of two children, and an uncle to five more.  When he can find the time, he loves to play games with his family and read speculative fiction. He has over a decade of experience in IT, and is a game designer and educator.

He believes that a love of reading is the single most important key to getting students to succeed at school.

5 Favorite Authors
His favorite authors are Terry Pratchett, Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan, J.D. Salinger, and Douglas Adams.

Director

Laura Hamilton

Laura is an avid gamer and reader. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two sons. Laura is a web designer with over a decade of experience working in libraries and education.

Laura believes strongly in the following words “Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it’s a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that’s all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.”
― Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad about My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

5 Favorite Authors
Her favorite authors are Terry Pratchett, Jane Austen, Rainbow Rowell, Brandon Sanderson, J.K. Rowling.