Skip to main content

Central California Life Magazine

Reading Heart Founded By 8-Year-Old Fresno's Own Danay Ferguson

May 18, 2016 05:31PM ● By Melanie Heisinger

Danay Ferguson reading to a group of kids. Photo courtesy the Reading Heart Facebook page.

Reading Heart is a local nonprofit, 501(c)(3) that was founded September 2014 by eight-year-old Danay Ferguson, who was inspired to start her business because she wanted to share her passion of reading with others.

Now, Reading Heart is a book donation program dedicated to serving children in hospitals and children in areas with limited access to books. Danay started Reading Heart because she wanted to share the importance of reading and the joy of escaping in a good book with other children.

An avid book reader and advocate for education, Danay wants to spread the joy of reading and improve literacy not only in the local community, but across the country. Her mission is to provide free books to children who may not have the resources to access books and to children in hospitals, particularly, so they can use books to escape their current condition into a world of fantasy and adventure.

"I was actually thinking about people who were less fortunate and people in hospitals because they get bored," says Danay. "Our donations can help kids in hospitals and the less fortunate."

Be sure to watch the video below to learn more about Danay's inspiring and successful story by watching the video below. 
At the Grizzlies game getting their free book.

Reading Heart partnered with Parker and the Fresno Grizzlies' Wild About Reading program, where they toured over 130 schools encouraging over 100,000 kids to read 10 books. After reading those 10 books, each child received 2 free tickets to a baseball game. Reading Heart also had a special gift waiting for the kids when they got to the game -- 1 FREE book!

The event was a huge success and left many kids smiling with their new book. For more pictures of this event, click here

To top it off, on May 16th, Reading Heart and the surrounding communities broke a world record by collecting 280,110 books within a 24 hour period. Every book will be sorted and donated, thanks to the tireless volunteers. 

How you can help:

1. All that's needed are those new/old books you have laying around.  Just donate them to Reading Heart and they take care of the rest.  Find a drop off location

2. Give a small money donation so Reading Heart can buy books and the supplies needed to make this grow. Any amount is helpful. Make a donation today

3. Join the team! There is always a need great people like you who want to help Reading Heart share the love of books. Head to their website to get more information.  Join the team.


African-American Heritage Award - Assemblyman, Henry T. Perea

Regional winner - Kohl's Cares Scholarship Program

BWOPA - Salute to Sisterhood Award

Certificate of Recognition - Mayor, Ashley Swearengin

Certificate of Recognition - Assemblyman, Henry T. Perea

Certificate of Recognition - Member of Congress, Jim Costa

Certificate of Recognition - Council President, District 3, Oliver L. Baines III

Certificate of Recognition - Council Member, District 1, Esmeralda Soria

Certificate of Appreciation - District 3 Supervisor, Henry Perea

Jim Yovino Superintendent’s Super Star

Fresno/Madera Counties Police Chiefs' Association Citizen Award

Cal North Soccer - District 7 Soccer League Volunteer of the Year

All content courtesy of the Reading Heart Facebook page and Website.

The Story of Reading Heart