Cobb County Faith Neighborhoods Unite to Support 600 Pre-schoolers as “Ferst Readers”


An ICM faith collaborative in Cobb County is providing 600 low income children “in our neighborhood” with a bookstore-quality, age-specific book mailed to them at home every month until their fifth birthday. 

About 4 years ago, Rev. Roger Vest of Powder Springs First Methodist Church got interested in Ferst Readers, a new early literacy program started in Madison, GA.   Rev. Vest understood the problem. It's this access to print that helps create a language-rich environment in the home. The more he heard about the solution, the more he liked Ferst Readers. 

He wondered if his congregation and others in the Cobb neighborhood could provide the books to local families who could use them.  Sponsoring books for one child cost $40 a year. They’ve built their project to 600 children and they’re working toward getting to 1,000 this year.

Because of the Cobb County faith neighborhood’s effort, parents can read their child a new book each month until they start school… as many as 48 books!

Here’s the problem: Children, many from low-income communities, enter kindergarten without basic early literacy skills. It’s a preventable problem. And it has a far-reaching impact throughout the child’s life. 

The recipe for early school success is simple: start school with strong literacy skills. Ferst Readers’s recipe for encouraging early literacy development is even simpler. It simply ensures that children have books in their home and provide support to parents in their role as their child's first teacher. 

If Ferst Readers sounds like an interesting project for YOUR faith neighborhood, reach out to ICM volunteers with an email to: They’d love to help you get started.