Supporting Children's Literacy Programs through the Jester & Pharley Phund.
Barbara Saltzman, President of the Jester & Pharley Phund, the Palos Verdes-based charity that grew out of her late son David's best-selling children's book The Jester Has Lost His Jingle. David created The Jester as his senior project at Yale before his death from cancer in 1990 at age 22 from Hodgkin’s disease.
The Saltzman family mortgaged their home to publish the book, which reached the N.Y. Times best-seller list. The book is now celebrating its 21st year in print, with a bilingual English-Spanish edition also available.
The Jester & Pharley Phund is committed to keeping Barbara’s promise to her son that every child in the country diagnosed with cancer will receive a free copy of the uplifting, whimsical, inspiring children’s story about laughter always being inside us.
When David died, 10,000 children in the U.S. were annually diagnosed with cancer; today that number reaches 15,700 yearly. The Phund’s literacy programs boost character development and ignite a love for reading among students with lessons of hope, humor, charity and strength of character that emanate from The Jester. Students have read more than 40 million pages in Jester & Pharley Phund read-a-thons to donate the book and Jester & Pharley Doll to ill children in their local community.
More than 170,000 Jester books and dolls have been donated to ill children and in support of literacy. The Phund’s award-winning literacy programs help children expand reading skills while encouraging compassion. Barbara has been honored nationally and locally for her work on behalf of children, including being named an Everyday Hero by the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship; the Pediatric Therapy Network’s Circle of Life, Circle of Love Education Award; Assembly District 66’s Woman of Distinction Award, and a Daily Breeze Women of Distinction Award.
This presentation is part of Health & Wellness, a free monthly program* of the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce.
* Non-chamber members are welcome to attend two program meetings prior to joining the Chamber. Learn more here.