Literacy & Outreach Programs
Our award-winning literacy programs ‒ Reading Makes a Difference™ and Reading to Give™ ‒ offer students a unique and engaging way to help ill children while expanding their own reading skills. After being introduced to The Jester Has Lost His Jingle and author-artist David Saltzman, students begin a Jester Read-A-Thon that generates the donation of Jester books and Jester & Pharley Dolls to hospitalized children in their community.
Inspired by David’s story, in the last 20 years over 164,000 students in both programs have read over 51 million pages in 300-plus programs to bring The Jester’s joy to local hospitalized children.
“This is the best thing our school has ever done,” one fourth grader said after one program. “I hope we do it every year.”
Reading To Give™
The Jester & Pharley™ Phund Educator Manuals
Jester & Pharley supplemental educator’s manuals provide teachers with valuable tools for expanding upon ideas found in The Jester Has Lost His Jingle. These supplemental materials, developed by teachers, help students meet current state standards. They complement and enhance curricula from pre-K through high school, stimulating students in every subject area.
Educators throughout the country endorse The Jester & Pharley Phund for providing exciting ways to motivate students to expand their reading skills and develop character.
Educators also praise The Phund for enabling students to help ill and special-needs children.
"The Jester Has Lost His Jingle has inspired the students. They have been cheerful, better friends to others, and have had a better attitude overall. David has taught all of us that each individual has the opportunity to make a difference in the world, beginning with ourselves first."
2nd Grade Teachers, Solana Vista School, Solana Beach, CA
"My students were inspired to meet the Reading Makes A Difference challenge and one classroom alone amazed everyone by reading more than 50,000 pages! The students in this classroom have all become motivated readers and are now reading at grade level - thanks to your program. The student who read 6,381 pages, more than any other, is a 5th grader by the name of Rodrigo and he made huge strides in reading as a result of this program. Before the program's start he was reading two-and-a-half grades below grade level and did not have a satisfactory comprehension of English. Rodrigo is now reading above grade level, and his English has improved significantly. I attribute this dramatic improvement to the motivation your program provided."
Principal, Dooley Elementary School, Long Beach, CA
"Our students don't often have the opportunity to help someone less fortunate than themselves. Reading for sick children whom they don't even know was an unfamiliar concept for them, but it gave them the opportunity to exhibit empathy and pride in a job well done."
Principal, Point Fermin Elementary, San Pedro, CA
"This program reached far into the hearts of our kids and gave them an opportunity to demonstrate what a caring, compassionate person does for others."
Librarian, Lincoln Elementary School, Long Beach, CA