Purpose Prize

Marc Freedman Portrait

The Latest from CoGenerate

Event Recording: Music Across Generations

Event Recording: Music Across Generations

Music can bring generations together for connection and collaboration, inspiration and celebration. Join us as we explore the power of cogeneration by learning more about an intergenerational orchestra, big band, and choir. This hour-long event features the Heart of...

The Best 13 Minutes You’ll Spend This Week

The Best 13 Minutes You’ll Spend This Week

Just after the Oscars, I wrote about The Last Repair Shop, the 2024 Academy Award-winning documentary about four older people who repair the 80,000 free musical instruments used by public school students in Los Angeles. It’s a beautiful film about a vital...


Joan Wylie

The Take Home Book Program
Purpose Prize Fellow 2008

Fostering a culture of literacy in families with take-home books for children.

From her first day as a student teacher and through 30 years in education, Joan Wylie wanted to help disadvantaged students overcome the sense of failure they had from not having learned to read. In 1998, when she was 52, she led a collaborative of teachers focused on learning to read and was inspired to create the Take Home Book Program. Wylie saw the importance of parent involvement in helping their children develop the foundational skills needed for reading in primary grades. For $4 per child per year, each child takes a book home each week and parents read and reread it with them. The child draws a picture and writes a sentence in a journal about each story. Rereading, drawing, and writing develop comprehension and reinforce emerging skills. Stanford University’s evaluation shows a significant increase for participants over the control group in reading skills. The program has been replicated in 3,000 Bay Area classrooms. “On my first day of student teaching, I ushered my assigned reading group into their seats. I saw five little faces, just beginning their second semester of first grade, filled with dread. ‘What shall we call our group?’ I asked in an upbeat tone. Their answer: ‘Just call us the dumb ones.’ These children, with just a year and a half of schooling, saw themselves as finished. That experience put me on a journey that lasted 30 years.”