Everybody Wins! founder, Arthur Tannenbaum, and his wife Phyllis had always read aloud to their children. Reading aloud was an important time to come together after a long day. It helped the Tannenbaums instill a lifelong love of reading in their children.
Arthur picked up a copy of The Read-Aloud Handbook after reading a book review in The New York Times. He appreciated how important the read-aloud experience was for children, and realized that there were many children who did not have the opportunity to read with an adult in their daily lives.
Trelease wrote that reading aloud to children was the single most important factor in improving children’s literacy skills - but what happened to those children who never had that opportunity?
Arthur saw a chance to make a difference. His idea was simple: visit a neighborhood school once a week during lunchtime to read with a child. He quickly recruited four co-workers to join him at his weekly “Power Lunch.” Soon after, the volunteers’ impact became obvious. Children in the program were learning to love reading, they were gaining self-confidence, and they were becoming better readers. This simple program was enormously powerful.
Soon, volunteers from other companies were joining in. In its second year, Arthur’s lunchtime reading program grew to two companies - five companies - ten companies. In 1991, three years after his first Power Lunch, Arthur retired from his accounting job and founded Everybody Wins! as a non-profit organization.
In 1997, Everybody Wins! Atlanta was founded, serving the students of Hope-Hill Elementary School through the Power Lunch program. Since then, Everybody Wins! Atlanta has been devoted to improving the reading skills and developing a love of reading in students who are reading below grade level, giving them a greater chance for success in school and expanding their life horizon.