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2016 Fox Cities Reads!
Book Festival Archives - 2010 - 2015
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In The House that Billie Built, Wisconsin native Tom Stenklyft adds volunteerism to his credentials as writer and nationally known speaker. This is the inspirational story of Billie Pollard who, at age 60, began a 35 year career bringing the gift of literacy to the foreign born. It was 1974. The first Southeast Asian refugees were coming to the Fox River Valley of Wisconsin, an area unprepared to teach them the language and customs of America. Billie took on the challenge by founding Literacy Education Services Inc., the mother of all local literacy programs assisting the foreign born. Now 98, Billie has relinquished her official duties, but remains an inspiration to volunteers carrying on her work at, The House that Billie Built!
Tom spends his retirement following in Billie’s footsteps. He is a volunteer tutor, and frequent speaker commemorating her life as an example of how dedicated volunteers build great communities. He and his wife Carol grew up in Hilbert and live in Appleton.
Big thanks go to Atlas Coffee Mill for hosting monthly meetings for the Fox Cities Book Festival Board! We appreciate your support of the Festival and just can't thank you enough for providing a welcoming meeting space for us to plan and dream.