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The Newsletter of Porter-Leath / Spring 2019 Issue a United Way of the Mid-South partner agency


Easy As 1, 2, 3: A parent’s perspective on what makes Porter-Leath special Myrika Williford takes her volunteer role on Porter-Leath’s Preschool Parent Council seriously. As a representative for Renaissance Early Head Start on the council, Myrika provides feedback from parents to Reanissance’s site manager and works collaboratively with members of the council and Porter-Leath staff to make decisions that effect the Preschool Program. Myrika Williford and daughter, Rayn.

She is also on a missions to educate parents on why it is important to volunteer in their child’s classroom and to recruit new famiies to enroll in Porter-Leath. “I encourage parents to look into Porter-Leath because they have a lot to offer. I tell parents, it is not a daycare, it is a school. We do it the Porter-Leath way, meaning that the kids don’t play all day they learn!” she said. She event created a video of the classroom, so that parents could see their child’s routine. “Parents see their child engaging in the class and are excited to say ‘That’s my child!” she explained.

During her next time to volunteer in the classroom, she recognized Autumn was modeling behavior from her teacher’s process of reading with the class. Myrika articulated that the consistant high quality of teachers and administration at the different sites a Porter-Leath have given her confidence that her children are cared for and that they will be prepared for kindergarten. She has even noticed that Autumn and Trinity have become more independent and will teach Rayn things that they learned at school. Amazed, she explained, “If I teach Autumn something new she becomes so excited she will turn to Trinity and will say ‘okay now, we need to focus’ and I can tell she wants to help her sisters grow.” Additionally, Myrika praised Porter-Leath for assigning family service workers to help parents set and reach goals. “My family service worker is awesome,” Myrika exclaimed “she provides counsel and checks on me mentally, physicall, emotionally to make sure I can give my best to my girls.” Myrika’s key piece of advice to parents regarding preschool: “Do not hold you child back. You will be amazed at what your child can do once you give them an opportunity to go to school. And I would say Porter-Leath, of course!”

Myrika’s children are her personal proof that high-quality early childhood education works. She has two children in Early Head Start at Porter-Leath Renaissance - Rayn (Age 1) and Trinity (Age 2), and one student, Autumn (Age 3) in Head Start at Porter-Leath’s Early Childhood Academy. “My oldest daughter, Autum, sat down with me one day and asked to read a book,” Myrika described “but before reading the book she stops me and says ‘Mom, look at the cover of the book. The author is the person who writes the book and the illustrator is the person who draws the pictures.’ I couldn’t believe that was coming out of her mouth.” To learn more about Porter-Leath’s Preschool Program, email Karen Harrell, Senior Vice President of Early Childhood Services at

Read more about Porter-Leath’s programs and initiatives at or by connecting on social media @Porterleath.

Myrika assists her daughter’s teacher and classmates at Reanissance with a craft.

Message from the President Spring is a busy time here at Porter-Leath. With the beginning of Preschool’s Open Enrollment for new students, spring fundraisers (See you April 29th at the Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival!), and recruitment for Americorps for the upcoming academic year, it is easy to have a to-do list that is longer than one can complete. This is why I have embraced March Madness. No, not the one you are thinking about - although I am currently at the top of Porter-Leath’s bracket challenge - I am referencing the excitement that occurs each year after Spring Break when Porter-Leath begins planning for the year ahead. You could call it Porter-Leath’s “game plan.”

Sean Lee Porter-Leath President

Speaking of which, I am delighted to share that Porter-Leath submitted an open RFP to the Corporation for National and Community Service and was awarded an additional three years of funding to continue our RSVP in DeSoto County, MS. Our RSVP recruits “seasoned” adults, ages 55 and up, to join the team and mentor young people. We are excited about the opportunity to continue serving for an additional three years. If you know anyone that may like to serve as a mentor or would like to learn even more about this work, please contact Judy Rautine at or Merracle Jordan at mjordan@, both of whom would love to talk with you!

Also, I thought you may like to know that both the Memphis City Council and Shelby County Commission have passed a local ordinance to provide over $16M in funding for Pre-K. Truly a “sweet sixteen,” this investment is a major game changer for young children and will ensure the expiring federal Preschool Development Grant (PDG) will be replaced with local funding this coming academic year and that an additional 1,000 pre-k slots will be added in Shelby County in 2020-2021. Porter-Leath supports and advocates for investments in high-quality preschool and is excited to see the commitment our community is making to ensure children are Kindergarten ready. Rest assured, Porter-Leath keeps its eye on the ball and continues to advance early childhood experiences here in Shelby County by equipping children, families and educators with the resources and education they need to live a healthy, optimal and independent lifestyle. Spot this circle on each program page for PORTER-LEATH BY THE NUMBERS highlighting measurements which help Porter-Leath serve children and families ef*Numbers from July 2018 to February 2019

PORTER-LEATH BOARD OF DIRECTORS Gail Schledwitz, Chair Donna Abney, Vice Chair Jim R. Jenkins, II , Secretary Sean M. Lee, President Sudhir Agrawal Rhonda Beaty Lisa Chow Mallory Mike Davis Jason Dombroski Sophie Duffel Dr. Kathy Evans Will Gibbons

D. Ellis Haddad Mark O’Malley Marlow Martin Dr. J. Helen Perkins Lee Rudd Mary M. Seratt Emily Shortridge Bill Stemmler Jack Stimac Ann Sullivan LaToya Swagerty

PORTER-LEATH BOARD OF TRUSTEES Susan Lawless-Glassman, President Blanchard Tual, Secretary/Treasurer J.W. Gibson, II Leon Gray Louise D. Patterson Tim Romanow Gary Taylor Lura Turner Larry Wright Keith Rogers, Trustee Emeritus

TEACHER EXCELLENCE The Teacher Excellence program professionalizes the work of early childhood education by strengthening the knowledge and classroom practices of early childhood teachers.

LENA Grow: Helping teachers increase conversations in the classroom Porter-Leath is committed to ensuring that our teachers and childcare provider partners are best-equipped to educate our children and prepare them for kindergarten. In early March, Porter-Leath launched LENA Grow, a 10-week professional development program that aims to maximize conversational turns between teacher and child. (Turns are the back-and-forth conversation between an adult and child.)

Early Head Start students like Allison wear their LENA Grow vest once a week in the classroom.

Like LENA Start, which measures the time Head Start students spend in conversation with their parents at home, Early Head Start students in LENA Grow have parental consent to wear a vest with a recording device one day a week. These recorders track conversational turns in the classroom. Each child recieves a weekly report, which are evaluated for frequency of conversation, word quality, and peak conversation times.

Six classrooms were selected to participate in the first cohort—Frayser Head Start, American Way Head Start, the Early Childhood Academy, Hooks Dimmick, and Southwest Tennessee Community College Childcare Center. Centers were chosen based on locations that were already offering practice-based coaching for their teachers.

Each week, teachers meet with an education specialist to discuss the previous week’s results and tecniques. “Ideally, the children should experience at least 25 conversational turns an hour and hear at least 3,000 words a day while they are at school,” explains TaWanda Randolph, Porter-Leath Early Childhood Education Specialist. “If the children aren’t sleeping, [the teachers] should be talking, reading or singing.” “Eighty percent of a child’s brain is developed by age 3, so everything that goes in from birth to three is critical. They learn so much when we’re talking to them—how to regulate their feelings, self-control, how to express themselves, how to respect one’s space and privacy. Everything is geared towards kindergarten and school readiness.” The program sees early, positive outcomes both from the returned data and from the coaching experiences of teachers. Early Head Start teacher, Kimberly Gulledge is in the first LENA Grow cohort and highlights the growth of her students’ language skills.”It is amazing to see the change in some of my students. One student in my class hardly spoke and now I have seen them blossom and begin to engage with the class,” she says. The second cohort of LENA Grow includes nine classrooms and will start in September 2019.

To learn more about Porter-Leath’s LENA Grow program, contact TaWanda Randolph at

3,697 Hours spent coaching teachers

Early Head Start teacher, Kimberly Gulledge, asks open ended questions to engage her students and grow their language skills.

In December, supporters raised funds for Porter-Leath by sharing their messages of support online, and inviting their friends to join in empowering children and families in our community through a holiday contribution. Funds raised by these community conscious caribou enable Porter-Leath to provide high quality resources and services year-round. Some reindeer even braved the reindeer pen at this year’s Toy Truck like Gail Schledwitz, Chair of the Porter-Leath’s Board of Directors (Pictured between Santa and “Pinelope,” the mascot of Toy Truck sponsor - International Paper). Join us in 2019, when the reindeer return to town! To learn how you can partner with Porter-Leath during the holiday season, contact Darren Thomas at (901) 577-2500 ext. 1130. Names in bold represent 2019’s Porter-Leath Reindeer followed by their supporters.

Donna Abney Allison Abney Sally Aldrich Madison Aucoin Mary Aucoin Janice Carson Michelle Collis Robin Drago Maurice Elliott Diana Kelly Jean Morris Lee Myers Diane Reddoch Debbie Russell Rhonda Shepherd Emily Stolnicki Sudhir Agrawal Norman Meyer Fletcher Cleaves Anonymous Tim Chapman Heather Maclin DeWayne Sweet Sophie Duffel Herman Adair Ron Becker of the Great American Homestore Jean Cantrell Bryan Duffel Larry Duffel Elizabeth Donnelly Doug Golden Mark Guthrie Cheryle Jackson Carol Lott Taylor McAlpin Brock Mills Fontaine Pearson Weston Sylvester Gay Williams McKinley Faraese Miss Germantown Iris Teen 2019 Susan Farese Todd Kucinski

Frontdoor Bells of Joy Alexander Adbo Keith Behan Melanie Brooks Mike Bullard Michael Celichowski Dennis Crews Jeffrey Fariman Roseanne Guy Carol Harrison Tammy Hast Jonathan Kamp Jaclyn Keep Blake Kent Phillip Lies Charles McCaghey Megan Malm Michael Matthews Jessica Maupin Victoris Norris Megan Olivent Michele Rick Nicole Ritchie Tanya Robbins Robert Schuerman Babita Singh Gabriella Generaux Miss Germantown 2019 Deborah Generaux Maureen Kelly Will Gibbons Joseph Feibelman Judge Julia Gibbons Martha Hawkes Benjamin Jabbour Linda Miller Jeremy Given Robert Abney Melisa Beggs John Dennis Hamilton Elles Brian Haines Roger House Kristen Lowrance Vincent Mazzola Kevin Moyes

William Roark Tim Romanow Fred Tull Michael Allen Ellis Haddad Eugene Bledsoe Judy Haddad Sara Cavataio Gianna Soefker Joe Cheng John Lewis John Crews Anonymous Steven Donnelly Charles Crawford Luke Ferguson Angie Davis Joseph Gallant Blair Evans Alan and Vail Gates Mitch Graves Jason Gallop Vance Lewis Michael Gentile Natalie McCulley Kimberly Guthrie Robert Moore Michael Harris Emily Capadalis Love Jeff Jackson Margaret Lovell Jeremy Johnson Pete Williams John Lamendola Kaycee Long Mason McWilliams Miss. Delta Fair 2018 Chris Morello Tammy Carlock Robert Pedretti Patricia Casey Gabrielle Perreux Brodie Foster Jonathan Phillips Charlotte Hollis Michael Phillips Christopher Long William Quinn Clint Parker William Robertson Frances Parker Gary Romanow McGriff Insurance Rata Singh Susan and Mark Bender Dhiren Toolsidas Jonathan Frisch Laura Trawick Susan Pleso Christian Turner Jan and Mark Reisman Christy Young Dave Tell Gail Schledwitz Lisa Chow Mallory Michael Alexander Baylor Stovall Belinda Anderson Meredith Crawford Kathryn Aupperlee Anonymous Anne Burnson Anna Leigh Coleman, Jeffrey Campbell Karlie Foster, Sydney Karley Campbell Jackson, and Cathi Dunavant Anne Louise Smith Noelle Dunavant Margaret Crawford Ann French Christine Eriksen Susan Gregory Brodie Foster Jennifer Himes Cari McCaig Wes Jackson Elizabeth Mednikow Philip Jones Suzanne Jackson Dawn Kinard

Kenneth King Johnny Lamberson Kathryn Lewis Carol Lott Terry Lynch Laura Morris Susan Newby Diane Parker Denise Rasberry James Rasberry Debra Reedy Mary Relling Karl Schledwitz Debbie Schneider Vicki Singh Jane Stephens James Summers Pete Voehringer Mike Warr Robert Worthington Mary Seratt Judy Card Patricia Carreras Kay Due HC Lin Kimberly McAmis Rose Rich Shahin Samiel Jean Schmidt Eddie Seratt Heather Seratt Oma Stickland Bill Stemmler Anonymous Ann Sullivan Blake Graves Linda Stratton House Thomas Smith Alex Wharton Anonymous


Connections provides individualized residential, placement and counseling services that meet the needs of troubled and homeless children. Throughout the implementation of their individualized service plan, Connections’ staff continually evaluates the child’s personal development progress, coordinates their placement with caring foster parents, and provides families with the specialized training to share a safe, loving and permanent home.

Connecting with Compassion: Former resident of Sara’s Place uses her experience in foster care to help others. As Regional Case Consultant, LaRhomica works hard to find foster homes and forever homes for children for whom the state has full guardianship. Her professional experience and grit guides her ability to place children safe and protective environments, but it is LaRhomica’s personal connection with foster care that helps her understanding of and rapport with the children teens she serves. LaRhomica bounced around to foster homes and relatives most of her life, and at one point in her journey, she landed in the foster home of an elementary teacher who enrolled her at Bellevue Middle School. While a student at Bellevue, she remembered her inclusion in World of Work, a program of Porter-Leath that helped teens gain experience in the workplace by connecting them with local businesses who were willing to mentor and steward the student. The program gave her some spending money and helped her build basic business skills. Later LaRhomica ran away from foster care and found herself in the care of Porter-Leath. She was housed in both the historic Porter-Leath building and also at Sara’s Place on Manassas. Unlike some juvenile centers at the time, LaRhomica remembered that Porter-Leath would take residents for field trips and errands. After being housed the Sara’s place, LaRhomica LaRhomica Coker (Top Right) with husband decided that she wanted to change the direction in which her life was and two children, Brittany and Bryce. headed. “I thought- you know, I don’t want to keep running away. I don’t want to end up in a facility with other girls. So I ended up returning to foster care and stayed there.” LaRhomica said seeing her family stuck in the same spot drove her build a better life for herself. Now, she has a degree in Social Work and finds herself working alongside Porter-Leath staff to find supportive homes. Many of the teens she works with are surprised that LaRhomica was in foster care just like them! LaRhomica consistently encourages foster care children to work hard and envision a life that is different than the one from which they came. She adds, “My key piece of advice to them is this - use where you are, to get to where you want to be in life. Your (biological) family will always be your family, but if there is someone out there willing to love you – let them.” LaRhomica learned to use her experience in foster care as a way to refine her instead of define her. “I made a promise to myself that my kids would not have to see or go through what I did as a child . . . the things that were there to break me, I just decided to use them as stepping stones.” She is also willing to help others see their own stepping stones by continuing to stay connected with those teens who have aged out of the foster care system. “I am thankful for the things that I’ve been through in life,” LaRhomica explained, “because it makes me appreciate where I am now, and I try to be the best mother I can, while helping others.” Interested in learning how you can foster love by providing a home for a child in need? Porter-Leath’s staff would love to meet you! Call Lisa Arnold at 901-577-2500 ext. 1179


Children adopted or reunited with caregivers

GENERATIONS Generations builds relationships between children, adults and seniors who make a positive difference in each other’s lives—encouraging healthy, productive, and responsible communities.

Foster Grandparents: Leaving a legacy of learning and loving


Senior Volunteers

Right: Foster Grandparent, Mary Jones, will be missed by her Head Start class inside KIPP Henry Collegiate Elementary Below: All eyes are on Ms. Jones as she reads one of the class’ favorite books, Harry the Dirty Dog.

“Look who is here! Grandma’s here!” This greeting is how Mary Jones aka “Grandma Mary” greeted the twenty children who eagerly awaited her arrival to their preschool classroom at KIPP Henry Collegiate Elementary. Not surprisingly, Grandma Mary was a popular figure at KIPP Henry where she volunteered for the past five years and was a strong recruiter of other Foster Grandparents. After retiring from Porter-Leath as an employee, Ms. Jones decided she wanted to spend time in the classroom in a different role. Having taught students for several years, Ms. Jones wanted to do something to encourage children’s self confidence and provide a sounding board for students who may not know how to regulate their emotions. As a Foster Grandparent, Grandma Mary provided additional educational assistance to classroom teachers and supported children with attention, hugs and reassurance. “I saw the need,” she said, adding, “Every home is different and children are a product of their home. When you are up there (in the classroom) teaching, you can see the hurt, the ones that don’t get the hugs or don’t get told ‘I love you.’” Lest you think Grandma Mary a pushover, she created clear expectations for a student’s behavior in class. She explains, “I loved to joke and laugh with the children but when it was time to focus on work, I would say ‘Now we are going to get down to business. You can continue to be silly over there, but if you want to be over here, you need to be doing business.” It was this balance that made Grandma Mary an asset to KIPP Henry. She was the perfect friend of every three, four and five year old that she encountered. Grandma Mary has retired a second time now, but her positive attitude and jolly laugh can still be felt in the hearts of those students at KIPP Henry. After moving to Danville, Illinois to be closer to her family, she intends on finding a way to carry on her mission to support preschool classes and students. “When I get to Danville, Illinois,” she said “my first order of business is to go to city hall, tell them about the Foster Grandparents in Memphis, and convince them they need Foster Grandparents too.

Questions about our Generations Program by emailing Generations Manager, Judy Rautine,

PORTER-LEATH PARTNERSHIP Tiffany Wilson, Driving the Dream Care Coodinator, holds a partipant of Porter-Leath’s Parents As Teachers Program, while hosting the Parent Empowerment Workshop.

Living in poverty can feel like you are facing an eight-headed dragon. Just one problem can sink you into a hole of despair. Your car breaks down, so you can not get to work, you can not work, which means you can not pay for food, shelter or childcare. Your child gets sick and you have no one to take care of them and you have to take off from work. Your job has downsized and you lose your job while already living paycheck to paycheck on an income that barely covers your family’s basic necessities. You do not have anyone to turn to in your time of need. These trials are when Porter-Leath’s partnership with Driving the Dream steps in to help these families in crisis.

Porter-Leath’s role as a partner is to provide a care coordinator that works directly with families in need while acting as a liaison to ensure continuity of care from fellow agencies that offer various services such as emergency housing, food, employment and education.

Driving the Dream is a program of the United Way of t he Mid-South that envisions all people receive equitable access to resources and support needed to achieve their hopes and dreams by fostering a community where the people become hopeful, resilient, and self sufficient. According to a 2015 report from the Brookings Institute, eliminating poverty should focus on three pillars of economic advancement– education, work, and family – to increase economic mobility. Many Mid-South nonprofits work towards these pillars, but no one can do the job alone.

One way Driving the Dream provided these resources and connections was by hosting a Parent Empowerment Workshop, where area nonprofits, colleges and community groups could gathered to share their expertise and connect with those that need assistance. Dr. Craig J. Boykin, author of several books including College Success 2.0 spoke with parents about how they could use their experiences and help from others to reach their personal and professional goals.

“These families need to be empowered,” says Tiffany Wilson, the Porter-Leath Care Coordinator. These families need resources along with assistance in becoming self-sufficient. We are here to provide them this roadmap and help them continue to drive their own dreams without obstacles.”

With Driving the Dream leading this movement, nonprofit partners are building the infrastructure to bridge any service gaps while tearing down systemic barriers that have prevented equitable access to resources for all Memphis families. The collective goal is to help families move out of poverty towards a future of their choosing. Porter-Leath was selected as a hub along with three other United Way partners.

To learn more about the Driving the Dream Hub at Porter-Leath, email Tiffany Wilson, Care Coordinator at

Dr. Boykin shares his own experience of working through hardships at this year’s Parent Empowerment Workshop.


Cornerstone’s parent educators equip mothers with prenatal and postnatal tools to promote positive development, giving their children the best start in life. As pregnant and parenting families reach their potential, they promote stronger families in their own communities.

Cornerstone Parents Receive Support Through Monthly Group Connections Porter-Leath’s Cornerstone program helps new parents become their child’s first teacher through the evidence-based Parents As Teachers curriculum. In addition to participating families receiving bi-weekly home visits from highly trained Parents Educators, they also engage in monthly meetings called “group connections” that offer opportunities for both parents and children to come together for peer-to-peer bonding and activities. “Parents are provided a safe and nurturing environment,” says Kimberly Thomas, Cornerstone Manager, about the group connections. “It allows us to reach our families in a way that sometimes that do not have support within their own families.”

Parents learn about Pre-K enrollment at Cornerstone’s March Group Connection.

During Group Connections, parents learn via a guest speaker or through hands-on activities on various topics including financial stability, child protection and safety, health and nutrition, mental health, goal setting and of course, parenting skills. “We all know that parenting is challenging for ALL parents,” says Kimberly. “ But when they don’t have easy access to resources, they may not be able to provide the needs for their children. We are there to give them a hand up which empowers the parent to reach their own goals.” Cornerstone’s most recent group connection walked parents through the process ofhow to apply for needs based preschool and what documents to bring to their child’s Pre-K screening for school.


families receving home visitation services

BOOKS FROM BIRTH Books from Birth creates literacy connections for families, which inspire nurturing bonds between caregivers and children. As a result, these bonds yield lasting, positive results that extend beyond early childhood.

Connecting Children to Literacy Resources: Penguin Playhouse and A Book & A Bite Books from Birth continues to find special ways to connect young children and their families to positive literacy resources, including books to life! The Dollywood Foundation’s Penguin Playhouse performs the story of an Imagination Library book in a twenty minute production for children. Each year, the players tour the production, offering performances at child-friendly locations like preschools, kindergarten classes and local libraries. Visiting Memphis for the first time, the Penguin Playhouse spent over a week visiting Porter-Leath’s Head Start and Early Head Start locations. The short musical vignettes dazzled the students who were able to see one of their Imagination Library selections come to life! This year’s adaptation of Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon taught students to believe in themselves and have confidence. Children at Frayer Head Start and Early Head Start point and clap as Molly Lou Melon learns to stand tall in the face of a school bully.

Births from Birth also provides resources for parents. Recently, the program held a literacy workshop called “A Book & A Bite,” which was sponsored through a generous grant from the St. Mary’s Community Fund.

Parents brainstorm ways they can help their children learn while attending this year’s A Book & A Bite.

46,822 Children Receiving Monthly Books

At the workshop, parents were treated to dinner and given the opportunity to learn the role of literacy in a child’s emotional development from Dr. Jeanne Wilson, Porter-Leath’s Early Childhood Literacy Consultant and Deaunn Stovall, Education Specialist from Porter-Leath’s Teacher Excellence Program. The two dynamic speakers discussed how parents could thrive rather than survive and how to use literacy resources like Books from Birth to engage their children’s imagination. While parents heard from educational speakers, St. Mary’s Episcopal School students engaged the children in games and activities focused on literacy and fun!

To learn more about the Books from Birth contact D. Wynett Jones, Program Director, at


Donors listed below represent gifts made to Porter-Leath between November 1, 2018 and February 28, 2019.

Judy Beach Rhonda and Doug Beaty Melisa Beggs Belz Foundation Susan and Mark Bender Betty and John Bennett Suzanne and Tom Bergeron

Jan and Greg Boucek Martha and Jim Boyd Melanie and Thomas Bremer Rachel Brennan Thomas W. Briggs Foundation Maury Bronstein Melanie Brooks

Jeffrey Campbell Julie Campbell A Better Source Susan and John Campbell Alexander L Abdo Marijean Canfield Jessica and Peter Abell Mary Cannon Allison Abney Jean Cantrell Donna and Bob Abney Judy Card Susan and George Acred Tammy Carlock Linn and Edward Acree Fran Carpenter Becky and Edwin Adair Patricia Carreras Herman Adair Carrier Corporation Shane Adams United Technologies Ann and Larry Adler Climate, Controls & Security Sudhir Agrawal Jennifer Carroll Judy and Steven Akins Janice Carson Trey and Cynthia Alberson Laura Casey Sally and Lyman Aldrich Patricia Casey Beverly Alexander Cash Saver Melanie Alexander Jerry Caughlin Michael Alexander Sara Cavataio Pamelia Alexander Bernadette Cay Michael Allen Mark Celichowski Sandra Allen Century 21 Home First Realtors Franklin Pepper Allen Brenda Chamness AM Trust Financial Ronald Chan Amerigroup Mary Chancellor Belinda Anderson Wanda Chancellor Anonymous Tim Chapman Thomas Archer Eric Chatman Carole and Charles Arkin Joe Cheng Sandra Armstrong Amy and Robert Childers Jeanne Coors Arthur Cindy and Frank Childress Jean and Steve Ashburn Lisa and Hugh Mallory Special volunteer readers came to American Way Michelle and George Askew Catherine Chubb Head Start and Early Head Start to help them celabrate Fadi Ibrahim and Rana Assfoura Church of the Holy Communion American Way Leadership Day! Athens Distributing Company Stephanie Cianciola Madison Aucoin Margaret Bertolino and Patti Brown Ronald Cirzoveto Mary Aucoin Suzanne Kane Robert Brown City of Bartlett Tanya Augustine Kristen Bettin Heather Bruce Holly Clark Kathryn Aupperlee Annette Bickers Kevin Bruce Gerald Clay The Austin Memorial Foundation Erma and James Black Anne and Don Brunson Fletcher Cleaves Kevin Austin Peggy Black Gina Bryant Stephanie Coady Patsy and Charles Avant Staci Blackwell Glennys Bryant Jeri and David Cocke Allyson Avera Kent Blake Bryce Corporation Suzi and Mike Cody Penny and Pete Aviotti Melanie Bland Buckman Laboratories International LaRose Coffey John Michael Bailey Gail Blankenship Mike Bullard Amelia Cole Jennifer and Johnny Baker Gene Bledsoe Amanda Bureau Jewett Cole Katherine Baldwin Michelle Boals William Burke Viola Cole Debra and Michael Ball Iuliia Boietska Deanna and Al Burson Town of Collierville Tracy and Steve Balton Dee and Tony Bologna Cynthia and Mike Burton Kristi and Keith Collins Sandra Baltz Barbara Bolton Toleda Burton Michelle Collis BancorpSouth Charles Bond Robert M. Bush Confluent Strategies Laura and John Barrett Rita Bond Calvin Turley Cheryl and Kevin Conway Diana Barzizza Zorana Booker Robin and Thomas Callihan Caren Cottam Wanda and John Barzizza

Anne and Stan Covington Kenneth Cox Mary Crabb Alice and Charles Crawford Eileen and Meredith Crawford Jeanne Crawford Kristi Crawford Margaret Crawford Crawford-Howard Foundation Dennis Crews John Crews Kristin and Craig Croone Laviette Crutchfield Gerre Currie Curtis Compaies Data Facts Robin Daughhetee Angie Davis Joseph Davis Laura Davis Patricia Davis Patricia and Joe Davis Natalie and Mike Davis Davita Laura Dawson DCS Data Comm Service Corp Madge and Whit Deacon Mary and Joseph DeBiaggio DelBrocco & Associates Dr. Sam Delk Delta Title Services LLC Pat Demere Brooke Denson Lynette and Greg Denzer Design Details Gary Diamond Gerri Diamond Paul Diana Kristen DiMento Cindy and Edward Dobbs Linda and Jason Dombroski Heather and Robert Donato Elizabeth Donnelly Steven Donnelly Jane Doom and Clyde Billings Robert Dotson McLean Doughtie Karen Dowty Robin Drago Doris Drew Kay Mills Due Larry N. Duffel Cathi and Stephen Dunavant Denise Dunavant

Noelle and David Dunavant VJ Dunavant Pam and Terry Dunger Mildred Dyer Hillery and Edward Efkeman Hamilton Elles Maurice Elliott Paige Ellis Tara and Jeff Engelberg Christine Eriksen Essendant Charitable Foundation Blair Evans Janet Evans Christine Fahey Christopher Farm Elizabeth and Thomas Farrar Joseph Feibelman Elizabeth and Rick Ferguson Luke Ferguson Jeffrey Fiarman Sharon and William Fidler First Tennessee Tiffanie and Steve Fittes. Kristin Forman Forrester Family Maribeth Fowlkes Anne and Rynne Freeland Linda Freeze Ann French Renee and Paul French Betsy and Bob Friedl Lisa and Jonathan Frisch Frontdoor Becky Gafford Jean Gaither Joseph Gallant Jason Gallop Sam Gardner Vail and Alan Gates Deborah Genereaux Michael Gentile Mary-Grace Gentry Matthew Giannini The Honorable Julia Gibbons and Bill Gibbons Kathy and J.W. Gibson, II Alfreda and Frederic Gilbert Ashley Gilland Crystal Givens Doug Golden Frances and Gregory Gonda Glenna Gonzales Kate and Robert Gooch Mimmye Goode

Barry Gorman Wanda Govan Grace St. Luke’s Episcopal Church John Gravatt Blake Graves Mitch and Kelly Jo Graves Alison Greenberger Allison Greenfield Susan Gregory Mark Gries Kimberly Guthrie Mark Guthrie Roseanne Guy Edwina Hackett Jenny and Ellis Haddad Judy and John Haddad Cindy and Warren Haggard Brian Haines Melisa Hall Leigh Ann and William Hamic Ruby and John Hancock Terri Hancock Pat Hannah Ann Harbor Mike Harless Cheryl and Tommy Harmon Mary Carolyn Harp Carol and Michael Harris Helene and Watson Harris Brian Harris Alfred Harrison Tammy Hast Donna and Richard Hatcher M. Nan Hawkes Angela Hayes Catherine Heyley Marilyn Hazzle Lisa and Dale Hendrix Meredith Hennessy Randy Henry Tessa Henson Ann and Hank Herrod Laura Hester Neva Higginbotham David Hightower Jean Hilbun Sandra and Thomas Hill Mikaela and Rich Hillesheim Jennifer and Jim Himes Ham Smythe Roslyn Hirsch-Clark Carol and Cletus Hodge Barbara Holden Nixon and Bill Nixon

Charlotte Hollis Paula Holloway Robert Holmes Lee Hoover Jane Ann Hopper Jessica and Sean Hord Dana Horner

L ea v e



Gifts given to Porter-Leath can make a lasting impact in the lives of children and families.

As you go through your life, please remember Porter-Leath with gifts now and bequests in your will. Thank you for your continued generosity! Contact Rob Hughes, VP of Development, to learn more about leaving a legacy at Porter-Leath. 901-577-2500 ext. 1167

Gwen Horner Linda House Roger House Jan Howles Laurie Hudson Huey’s Allison and Rob Hughes Hunter Avenue Missionary Baptist Church Cynthia and Thomas Hurley Buzzy Hussey and Hal Brunt Penelope Huston Garnett and Tom Hutton Donna and Ralph Hyde Courtney and John Hyden IBERIABANK Idlewild Presbyterian Church Mary Ingram-Hopkins Susan and Frank Inman Benjamin Jabbour Angela Jackson Cheryle Jackson Laurie and Jeff Jackson Suzanne and Wes Jackson Jennifer Jakob Vanessa James

Donors (Continued)

Stephanie and Joe Jarratt Jim Jenkins Leesa and Larry Jensen Andrew Jeter Sharon and Jim Turner Amanda Johns Erica Johnson Erin Johnson Jeremy Johnson Lisa Marie Johnson Carrie and Philip Jones Ivanhoe and Clemmie Jones Jonathan Jones Katherine and Russell Jones Sherry Jones Yvonne Jones Wise Jones Brian Juengling Kathy Junkin Charlene Kalb Jonathan Kamp Mary and Aaron Kanowitz Elaine and Robert Kaufman Maureen Kay Faith and Leonard Kaye Jaclyn Keep Tanja Kellum Diana Kelly Lee Ann and Jerry Kelly Maureen Kelly Marty and Dale Kelman Chris Kelyman Jeanne and Terry Kendall Cheryl Kent Kevin Austin Joyce Keys Dawn Kinard Terri and Kenny King Susan and Matt Kinnear Steve Kisber Sheryl Kleher-Ottinger Ellen Klyce Tiffany and John Knighton Amanda Kohr Todd Kucinski

Lynn and Marty Kulbeth Bill Lackey Timmie Lamar Johnny Lamberson Kelly Lamberson John Lamendola Leslie and Nathaniel Landau Stephanie Larry Carol and Paul Lawler Barbara Lawrence Leigh and Scott Lawyer Christopher Lee Lucy and Thomas Lee Michael Lee

Henry Lin Gail and Allen Lindberg Paula Lockard Henry Loeb Katherine Lohman Christopher Long Lara Long Jimmy Longino Carol Lott Emily Love Tammy Love Margaret Lovell Kristen Lowrance Shirley and Michael Lupfer

Employees of the Tennessee Valley Authority recently volunteered at Porter-Leath’s Early Childhood Academy. Interested in volunteering? Contact Engagement Manager, Angela Meekins at Sally Ann Lee Terry Lynch Sean Lee Heather Maclin Buddy Legens Caroline MacQueen Patti and Bruce Lehigh Virginia Maddock Dick Leike Ragan and Lon Magness Edward Lemaster, Jr. Bruce Owens Sherrill and Michael Lemmi Dianne and Myron Mall Carol Lee Leppert Megan Malm Levy Commercial Realty, LLC Jessica Mann Kathryn and Jon Lewis Joann and Eddie Manning Vance and John Lewis Gloria Marchant Mabelline Lewis-Hull Margaret Gracey Owens Phillip Lies Marjorie Webster Gina and William Light Jennifer Marshall

Martin Family Foundation Marlow Martin Daniel Mason Mike Mathias Carol and William Mathis Eugene Mathis Mathis, Tibbets & Massey, Inc. Michael Matthews Lori Matula Jessica Maupin Kristen Maurette Ann and Will May Tim May Kendall and Jason Maykowski Penny and Larry Mays Vincent Mazzola Alice and Wallace McAlexander Taylor McAlpin Charles McCaghey Cari McCaig Colleen McCartney Mack McCaul Barbara McCloskey Kristen McColough Danni MCrary Natalie and Jeffrey McCulley Beverly and Steve McDaniel Lauren McGehee David McGoldrick Barbara McGrath Tammy McKay Carolyn McOwen Mason McWilliams Medford Roofing Deborah and Timothy Meek Simone and Logan Meeks Memphis Council of the Blind Juanita Merriweather Norman Meyer Lee Meyers Michael F. Dreve & Associates Mid-South Recreation Barbara and Fred Middlebrooks Katie and Tom Midgley Valerie Milam Linda Miller Brock Mills

- Gifts Given in Honor of Books from Birth Graduates Rachel Brennan – Graduate – Genevieve Patricia Bryant – Graduate – Elijah Amanda Bureau - Graduate – Elise Corey Coleman – Graduate – Kadence Joseph Davis – Graduate – Joshua John Gravatt – Graduate – Ivy

Maureen Kay – Graduate – Alexander Lisa Moore – Graduate – Edwin Jamie Smith – Graduate – Bruce Eppich Tonia Stephens – Graduate – Elyse Ashley Riney – Graduate – Samuel

Eleanor Mills Millstone Market Mitzi Minor Lynn and Charlie Mohon Thomas Moisan Monogram Loves Kids Foundation Doreen and Jeffrey Montalbano Alma Moore Lisa Moore Robert Moore Terri and Michael Moore Chris Morello Snow and Henry Morgan Jane Morris Jean Morris Laura Morris Susan Morrow Gail and Randall Morton Mary Call and Mott Ford Kevin Moyes Joyce and C.W. Munn Sherry and Mike Murphy Mary Musari Chadwick Myers Michele Neal Susan Newby Judy and Joseph Newell Erin and Grant Newman Kristin Newman Matt Nichols Sally Nickele Victoria Norris Northcentral Electric Power Association Kimberlee and Cristopher Nunn Jamie O’Bar Glenda and John O’Connor Jenna O’Keeffe Carrie Oakes Megan Olivent Emily Overholser Bethany and Keith Owen Wende and Nick Paoni Diane and James Parker Frances and Clint Parker Avni Pathak Fontaine Pearson Robert Pedretti Susan Penn Cathy Perkins Gabrielle Perreux Carrie Peters Diane and Patrick Pettit Abby and Jack Phillips Amy Phillips Erin and Jonathan Phillips

Michael Phillips Jennifer Pierce Nina and Michael Pietrangelo Virginia Pilcher Pinnacle Financial Partners Susan Pleso Susan Plough Helen Plummer Susan and Scott Plunkett Jaclyn and Joey Pomeroy Patricia and John Pontius Mary Suzanne and Tom Harvey Rosemary and Michael Potter Melonie and Charles Pounds

Joel Reisman MD Marc Reisman Mary Relling and William Evans Renewal by Andersen of Greater Memphis Samantha Renfro Rose Rich and Sherwood Platt Amber Richey Melissa Richgels Michele Rick Ashley Riney Judy and Neil Ringel Roy Robbins Tanya Robbins

Lee and Brian Schaffler Gail and Karl Schledwitz Catherine Schlesinger Jean Schmidt Debbie Schneider Sarah and Scott Schoefernacker Pauline Schrimper Frana Schrock Robert Schuerman Cheryl and Gary Schwend Cynthia Schwind Jake Scott Leanne Scull Heather Seratt Mary and Eddie Seratt Colleen Shallow Sharon Moore Estelle and John Sheahan Annette Shearin Rhonda Shepherd Tory and Jeremy Shirley Wendi Soffner Caitlyn Shores Michael Siegel Abigail Simone Stephanie Simpson Babita Singh Vicki and RD Singh Students at Delano Head Start celebrated Black History Month Jocelyn Sisson Slingshot Memphis Inc. by reading about Dr. George Washington Carver. Cedric Smith This class dressed up as Dr. Carver and Chapman Smith some of his inventions, discoveries and hobbies. Deborah Smith Shayama Price Dawn and Lee Roberts Gina and Mike Smith Regina Pryor William Robertson Jamie Smith Steven Pulliam Danielle Robinson Kelley and Jon Smith PUPs Quilting Guild Marilyn Robinson Margaret and Grayson Smith William Quinn Carolyn and Robert Rogers Maryl and Joel Smith Stacey Quiriconi Gary Romanow Renee and David Smith Pamela Ragland Shari and Tim Romanow Thomas Smith Minje and Randolph Ramey Susan and Richard Rook Gail and Charles Smithers James Randle Alicia Ross Angela and David Snell Sarah Ranson Martin Lambert Ross John Anthony Snyder Denise Rasberry Pam and Martin Rote Gianna Soefker James Rasberry Melinda and Jeffrey Roux Brenda Somes Amy and Tom Rawlinson Judith Royal Faye Southern Raymond James Financial, Inc. Diane Rudner Ann Sparks Reactor Services, Inc. Debbie Russell Speer Charitable Trust Diane Reddoch Sandra and Charles Rutledge Vivian Spicer and Peter Turnbull Colby Reed S/G Electronics, Inc. Becky Spilman Justin Reed Patti and Frank Sachenbacher Spirco Manufacturing Debbie and Jim Reedy Michele and Jorge Salazar Trish and Richard Spore Elizabeth and Kerry Regen Shahin Samiei Sheri Spurt James Regensburger Paul Sax Standard Electric Co., Inc. Regions Bank Pamela Scarbrough Patsy Stanfill Anne Mathes and Debby and Stephen Schadt Jan and Lee Stein

Donors (Continued)

Faye and Bill Stemmler Jane and Mark Stephens Tonia Stephens Jackie and John Stewart Lauran and Jack Stimac Emily Stolnicki Baylor Stovall Cindy and Jack Straton Kim and David Strickland Oma Strickland Gretchen and Brian Stroud Anthony Carnell Suggs Ann and Richard Sullivan Deborah and Jim Summers John Summer Joyce Summitt Swaffer Fleet Leasing DeWayne Sweet Leanne Sykes Weston Sylvester Arie Szatkowski Angela Tate Brenda F. Tatum Taylor Taylor Teamsters Local Union No. 667 Dave Tell Tennessee Department of Safety Ruebin and Sandra Terrell Megan Thielemier Charles Thomas Thomas Williams Jennifer Thompson Linda and Joseph Thornburg Sarah and Barry Thornhill Phillip Thrasher and Catherine Crawford Beverly and Roy Thweatt Wendy Tindera Caroline Tinner Dr.David Tipton Cheryl and Matthew Tiscia Leslie Tivers Denese Tobin Mary Todd and Gene Green Lisa Toler Dhiren Toolsidas Cindy and Terry Trammell Kate and Bradley Trammell Laura Trawick Tri-State Plumbing HVAC Contractors, Inc. Sharon and Kelly Truitt

Names in bold represent honorees.

Tootie and Blanchard Tual Fred Tull Turner Holdings, LLC Christian Turner Lura and Steve Turner Mary Sue Turner Nancy Turner Corinne Uhlhorn Andrea and Michael Uiberall Emilie Unglesby United Way Of The Mid-South Joyce Upchurch Todd Valentine Claire and Yousef Valine Lisa Vaughn Jeremy Veach Diane Sachs and Bob Vidulich Peter and Sharon Voehringer


Ruth and Lowery Wilder Patty and Ed Wiley William Bledsoe Gay Williams Julia and Thomas Williams Gail and Page Williamson Noell and Gary Wilson Phyllis Wilson Susan R Wilson Wilson Lumber Company, Inc. Sarah Jessica Winders Brenda and Fred Wiseman Elizabeth and Jim Witherington Angela Wood Elizabeth and William Woodmansee Michelle Woods William Woods Robert Worthington Catherine Wotalewicz Kathryn Wright Lil and Larry Wright, Sr. Julie Wunderlich Susan and Kent Wunderlich Ana Yambrek Katie and Jason Yaun Beulah Young Trust Deborah and Bonnie Zoccola





Susan and Lee Walker Jeanette and Jeffrey Wallace Jennie and Carl Wallin Cristina and Jack Ward Laurie Ward Stacy Wardlaw William C. Warner Gina and Mike Warr Watkins Uiberall, PLLC Michelle Welling Amber Westbrook LaToya and Alex Wharton Ruby and AC Wharton Stacy Whitfield D.C Whitlock

Mary Ann Alexander Suzanne Bergerson Jane Arnold Suzanne Bergeron Randy Allen Barnes Jean Hilbun Joy Beaird Stephen Beaird Joan Beatty Page Turners Books Club Patricia Bledsoe William Bledsoe Edward and Mary Botteeron Jean Ashburn Mike Bowen Board of Directors and Staff of Porter-Leath Earl Brown, Jr. Patti Brown Thomas Harry Coleman Blanchard and Tootie Tual Carolyn Ervin Joyce Upchurch John S. Evans Janet Evans

Vi Exline Board of Directors and Staff of Porter-Leath Mary Elizabeth Garrott Patrick Demere Debbie Giannini Matthew Giannini Milla Gieselmann Emily Overholser Edward Harry Hayes Board of Directors and Staff of Porter-Leath Alexis Hennessy Meredith Hennessy Alfred Jordan Patty Wiley Katherine Kyle & Samuel Thomas Campbell Lucy Lee Mary Todd Drew Lawrence Betsy Friedl John Lee Margaret Bertolino Gerald Clay Jerri Linskey Carrie Peters Michael Lupfer Board of Directors and Staff of Porter-Leath Michael Ralph Marshall Melonie Pounds Garnet Meinders Mike and Angela Tate Anne Rawlinson Thomas Rawlinson James Fred Richardson, Sr. Swaffer Fleet Leasing James Robinson Yvonne Jones Victor Shainberg Deanna Burson Emerle Dianne Smith Board of Directors and Staff of Porter-Leath Erney Stanfill Patricia Stanfill Judge Russell Sugarmon Paul Diana Kaitlin Thomas David McGoldrick Cecily W. Tipton David Tipton Eunice Tribble Board of Directors and Staff of Porter-Leath

Visit to register. Sponsorships are available. Bill George, John Merchant and Wanda Couch Deborah Whitlock Sharon Goldsworthy Allyson Avera Ann Harbor Dana Horner Kate Gooch Vivi Spicer Jeb Baker Judge Gina C. Higgins Metra Reid Judge Robert Childers Bill and Sandy Bailey Rob and Allison Hughes JoAnn Manning Lynn and Charlie Mohon Nancy Bogatin Judge Rhynette N. Hurd Mike Harless Judge Robert Childers Barbara Holden Nixon Natalie Jones Ann Bowers Gloria Marchant Marlow Martin Jenny Kaufman Bob Braxton and Sue Truitt Elaine Kaufman Becky Gafford Michelle and Jay Kaufman Ramona Chapman Elaine Kaufman Jake Scott Judge Yolanda Kight Judge Felicia Corbin Judge Robert Childers Judge Robert Childers Lisa Kranc Cindy and Kendall Crawford Diane Rudner Meredith Crawford Mr. and Mrs. Meredith Crawford Tony & Nancy Lanigan Francis Gonda Jeanne Crawford Smith Mallory on her birthday Katie Cruzen on her birthday Kristen Betting Lisa Chow Mallory Katherine Lohman Bryan Faller Simone Meeks Elaine Kaufman Alice Ulhorn Gloria Felsenthal on her birthday Vivian McKnight Roslyn Hirsch Clark Marlow Martin Judith Royal Methodist North 5th Floor Michael Gagliano Gina Bryant Pete and Penny Aviotti Judge Kenneth A. Turner Mary Sue Turner Jack H. Morris, III Jane Morris Robert L. Summitt, MD Joyce Summitt


William Murphree A Better Source Perry Nagin and Jacob Marcus Mikaela and Rich Hillesheim Johnny Pritchard and Brandi Heiden Sandra Rutledge Rashad Reisman Joel Reisman Metra Reid James Reid Daniel Riddle Jamie O’Bar Judge Jimmy Russell Judge Robert Childers Gail and Karl Schledwitz Kathryn Lewis Peter Schutt Patricia Spore Mildred Schwartz Larry and Ann Adler The Final Touch Linda Freeze Diane Halperin Yoriko Kitai Beverly McDaniel Susan Plough The Ridgeway Ladies Golf Club Neil and Judy Ringel Ann Sweeney Mary Seratt Heather Seratt Mike and Anita Smith Gina Smith Judge Valerie Smith Judge Robert Childers

Lawrence and Dudley Speake Karen Wellford Judge Jerry Stock Judge Robert Childers Farmington Elementary School Hillery Efkeman Mary Lou Thesmar Catherine Kayley Marty Thomas Nancy Turner Mary Todd Edwina Hackett Judge Mary L. Wagner Judge Robert Childers Brian and Carol Walton Christina Ward Mike and Gina Warr Judy Akins John Barzizza Thomas Farrar Bill and Carol Mathis Calvin Turley Debbie Weber Melanie Bremer Judge Roberts S. Weiss Judge Robert Childers Jackie Welch Dawn Kinard Ruby and AC Wharton Alex Wharton The Wharton Family Diane Rudner



3400 Prescott Road / Memphis, TN 38118


Springtime Events at Porter-Leath

Porter-Leath’s Books from Birth Spring Luncheon

27th Annual Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival

Porter-Leath’s Books from Birth Program continues to spread the important message of reading with children to help broaden their imaginations and strengthen their literacy skills. The program creates literacy connections for over 46,000 Shelby County children under five each month.

Join the party on Sunday, April 28, from 11:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Wagner Place and Riverside Drive between Union and Beale!

Join us at the FedEx Event Center at Shelby Farms Park on Thursday, April 11th to hear from local health and education professionals, Dr. Kandi Hill-Clarke, Dean of the College of Education at the University of Memphis and Dr. Jason Yaun, Pediatrition at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital, both who have a passion for early literacy. At the luncheon Porter-Leath’s Books from Birth Program will also honor this year’s AC Wharton Literacy Award recipient Peter Schutt. Tables can be purchased at For sponsorships or questions about the luncheon, contact Darren Thomas at (901) 577-2500 ext. 11301 or

Known as the unofficial start of spring in Memphis, Rajun Cajun features 17,000 pounds of fresh Louisiana crawfish, holding the title as the largest one-day crawfish festival outside the state of Louisiana. Find out who will be our 2019 Cash Saver Gumbo Cookoff Champion or simply enjoy live music along the banks of the Mighty Mississippi from any of our three stages, featuring nationally-known and local award-winning artists. Become a VIP at our Monogram Foods Swamp VIP Tent with all you can eat crawfish, drinks, and Cajun cuisine. Before it sells out, visit to purchase your tickets! ($125 per per adult or $225 per couple) Remember, the party continues, Monday, April 29th for the annual Speer Rajun Cajun Golf Scramble at the Links of Galloway. For more information, visit

Profile for Porter-Leath

Porter-Leath Leathlet - Spring 2019  

Porter-Leath Leathlet - Spring 2019