Every Child a Reader, the charitable arm of the Children’s Book Council, has announced the addition of seven board members and the election of three new officers. Simultaneously, longtime board officers Judith Haut, senior v-p and associate publisher at Random House Children’s Books, and Simon Boughton, publishing director of Norton Young Readers, have stepped off.
The seven new board members are Chandler Arnold, co-founder and social impact lead at Renegade Consulting Collective; Rachel Bader, director of licensing at Penguin Random House; Ruth Chamblee, director of marketing at National Geographic Books; Raakhee Mirchandani, author and editorial director, diversity and inclusion, at Barron’s Group/Dow Jones; Joy Peskin, editorial director of Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers; Lizette Serrano, executive director of educational marketing at Scholastic; and Caroline Sun, founder of Sun Literary Arts.
Returning board members are author, illustrator, and San Francisco literacy advocate Lisa Brown; Suzanne Harper, senior director of national STEM strategy at Girl Scouts of the USA; author and National Ambassador Emeritus Jon Scieszka; and Margy Stratton, founder of Milwaukee Reads.
Elected by unanimous assent by the board to officer positions, Chamblee will serve as board chairperson, Stratton as treasurer, and Lisa Brown as secretary. A vice chairperson will be chosen in 2021.
Chamblee said in a statement, “I’m honored and thrilled by this opportunity to support the amazing work of Every Child a Reader by serving on its board. Throughout my professional career in publishing, and also as a parent, I have long admired the Children’s Book Week and National Ambassador programs, as well as the many newer initiatives that encourage the joy of reading in children. I’m ready to jump in and do whatever I can to draw attention—and funding—to this fantastic organization.”
Carl Lennertz, executive director of the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader, said, “The board began a diversity initiative in 2018 and we are pleased to announce the culmination of interviews and voting. Additionally, the board now has fundraising as a #1 priority, in addition to programming guidance. I also want to express our deep gratitude to Judith and Simon. They’ve been instrumental in Every Child a Reader’s successes since its founding in 2008, along with other publishing executives. They have been mentors, guides and friends to us all, and we will miss them. They were also central to the new board member outreach and our new direction.”
Lennertz continued by thanking “Lisa, Suzanne, Jon, and Margy [who] have been vital in fundraising and in the selection of new members. And we are all so excited to add the talents of Chandler, Rachel, Ruth, Raakhee, Joy, Lizette, and Caroline to our national literacy work. As the new chairperson, Ruth is key to our future growth due to her experience, ideas, and CBC involvement.”