February 16, 2021 -- MINNEAPOLIS, MN -- Local literacy nonprofit Start Reading Now has transitioned to a board led by Atomic Data employees, Minnesota’s on-demand, always-on, IT as a Service provider, effective February 1, 2021. Atomic Data has been a long-time financial and volunteer supporter of Start Reading Now, and will help the nonprofit continue operations in the face of COVID-19. The change in leadership will allow Start Reading Now to better serve its existing market and eventually expand operations beyond the Twin Cities.
Co-founder and former Board Chair Kevin Terrell had this to say about the transition, “We set out to create a simple, volunteer-driven program that helps to create a culture of reading and learning for life in homes where that might not usually be the case. With the financial support and people power of the community, we’ve created a sustainable, high-impact program. It’s now time to transition our leadership to a team that can take the program to even greater heights, and we could not have imagined a better way to achieve that than partnering with Atomic Data."
Atomic Data's CEO and co-owner Jim Wolford was eager to take on a bigger role in supporting Start Reading Now and looks forward to promoting youth literacy across Minneapolis and beyond. Wolford will assume the position of Start Reading Now's Board Chair and will be restructuring the board with new fundraising and expansion goals in mind.
“1st, 2nd and 3rd grade are critical years in the development of a child, especially those living in a world that does not always offer the proper influences and a world that, more often than not, does not challenge them to read and dream,” said Wolford. “Whether in Uganda at one of the world’s largest refugee settlements, or here at home in the Twin Cities metro, Atomic Data recognizes the importance of getting books into kid’s hands as early as possible. That’s why, when we heard Start Reading Now would soon shut down, we jumped at the opportunity to take the reins and lead the organization into the future.”
Existing board members Theodore Evans and Gong Yun will remain on the board to ensure a successful transition. Joining the board alongside Mr. Wolford are long-time Atomic Data employees Hannah Wagner and Scott Evangelist as well as Start Reading Now employee Lauren Beek. Mrs. Beek will be essential in assisting with the transition and overseeing the upcoming Spring 2021 book distribution campaign.
About Start Reading Now
Start Reading Now (www.startreadingnow.org) was founded in 2014 to address the lack of books in low-income households, and the leading role that plays in the “summer slide” and the achievement gap. The program funds vouchers for 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders to buy 10 news books each year at the start of the summer. Since 2014 the program has funded more than 20,000 kids in Minneapolis to buy nearly a quarter of a million new books.
About Atomic Data
Atomic Data (www.atomicdata.com) is an on-demand, always-on, pay-as-you-go expert extension of the enterprise’s technology team, always acting in the client’s and the community’s best interest. Atomic Data – SAFE. SIMPLE. SMART.