Kemie began teaching literature to children four decades ago. Her programs quickly gained momentum and expanded from Westminster to inner-city Atlanta schools. Kemie learned that in order to teach literature, more appealing books were needed in schools. Kemie and many volunteers began collecting books, and the Reader-to-Reader program was born. Charity Mwangi, head mistress of Mt. Kenya Academy, then asked Kemie to bring the program and books to Kenya. Since its founding, CLC has placed more than two million books in hospitals and schools around the globe.
Ashley Bryan was the beloved author and illustrator of over 70 children’s books. His illustrious career includes Coretta Scott King awards, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Lifetime Achievement Award, and Newbery Honor Books. Ashley served on the CLC Advisory Board since its inception and has been instrumental in CLC initiatives both here and abroad. Ashley sponsored through CLC the construction of the library, four classrooms, and water tanks at Kiboya Primary School in Laikipia District, Nyeri, Kenya, which all bear his name.
Debbie joined CLC as the Executive Director in 2005. Prior to joining the ranks at CLC, Debbie enjoyed a liberal arts education at Furman University, worked in community outreach with SafeKids of Georgia at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, then worked in sales and marketing for Electronic Data Systems. She ultimately became the reading specialist for her own children and found her true calling. Debbie is responsible for the administrative side of CLC, but feels called to serve children by participating in the many CLC programs.