Jackie Ross Flaum
Born and raised in Ashland, Kentucky, I began my professional career as a reporter for The Hartford Courant in Connecticut. More fun than anything! I won a Sigma Delta Chi prize for editorial writing – and met my future husband, David, there.
After David became a business reporter we moved our little poodle Tucky and daughters Stephanie and Becky to Memphis. That’s where my new career in public relations, marketing, and executive speech writing began.
In Memphis, I wrote something different every week: speeches, magazine or newspaper stories, ad copy, even books. I did things like:
Finally, I abandoned fact for fiction.
I entered an unfinished novel and won the 21st annual River City Romance Writers Duel on the Delta for romantic suspense. "One in Ten Thousand," alas, remains unfinished.
And I won the June short story then came in second in the six-month contests at Short Story Land.
I’m about to release the first novel. Hang on.
Outside writing and my family (I now have five grandchildren) my real passion is working to improve the lives of children.
One of my passions...
"Team Read is a volunteer program teaching second graders the most frequently used words in reading-- words like 'is," "the," "play." And it works.
If you can play silly word games and operate a flash card, you can be a Team Read coach.
Team Read students learn more than twice the number of critical reading words than students without a Team Read coach. No one can read well without recognizing these words instantly.
The program began with a partnership between my church, Germantown United Methodist, and the education professionals at our partner school. We worked out a way to teach at-risk children one reading skill in 25 minutes a week, to allow flexible scheduling for volunteers, and to measure how successful we were.
Eight years later Team Read is in 53 Shelby County, Tennessee elementary schools with 1,200 volunteers. There are some groups in Selmer and Jackson, Tennessee, and one in Huntsville, Alabama.
Volunteers give one hour a week during the school day and work one-on-one with two students.
All of this is free for the school and volunteer. Team Read uses supplies the schools already have.
Interested in knowing more about Team Read? >> Learn More
(Photo: Brad Vest/The Commercial Appeal)