"Children who have not already developed some basic literary practices when they enter school are three to four times more likely to drop out in later years."
(National Assessment of Adult Literacy, “National adult literacy survey,” 1993.)
NWA Books for Kids seeks to build reading skills and a love of books among children at an early age by placing books in their homes and encouraging their parents to read together.
This mission is enhanced by the recruitment, training, and placement of volunteer reading tutors in schools and after-school activity programs. Through these strategies we help children develop the literacy skills necessary for success in school and in life.
Ralph Nesson, Executive Director
Ralph Nesson’s name is synonymous with creating successful programs that help those in need rise above their circumstances. He has done it for over forty years and is still going strong.
A Boston native, Ralph immigrated to Arkansas in the early 70’s after serving as a VISTA volunteer. He spent eleven years as the Executive Director of the EOA of Washington County before leaving to pioneer the program he is best known for, the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Washington County (initially) and later the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund. In the 26 years he served as Executive Director of the Scholarship Fund, Ralph was able to create an endowment of over $ 3,000,000 and a state-wide network of support groups, allowing thousands of single mothers and fathers to pursue post-secondary education degrees.
Following the success of SPSF, Ralph semi-retired and became the Arkansas Regional Coordinator for Bright Futures USA, working to assist school districts in developing community/school partnerships, create home library projects and raise funds to expand similar programs. His annual “Walk 4 Kids” initially generated funds for the Ozark Literacy Council and will now serve as a fundraiser for Ralph’s newest endeavor, Northwest Arkansas Books for Kids.
Board of Directors
Ralph Nesson, President
Nancy Ballard, Vice President
Julie Fish, Treasurer
Will Mullen, Secretary
John L Colbert
Margaret "Peggy" Konert, LCSW