The Board of Directors of Born to Read, Beaufort County’s nonprofit early reading program, recently selected Terri Sassmann to take the position of executive director. She will replace Chris Taggart, who is retiring after serving as the organization’s executive director since its inception in 2001.
“Chris has been an amazing leader for Born to Read,” said Board Chairperson Nancy Gilley. “It was a daunting task trying to find someone to fill her shoes. But, we feel we have a great person to follow in Terri. She has years of experience coordinating volunteers, and is committed to the mission of early literacy. We think our volunteers will agree.”
Ms. Sassmann moved to Bluffton in 2007 from Pittsburgh, PA, where she was Coordinator of Volunteers at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. In that capacity, she oversaw programs designed to meet needs of patients and families. She also assisted with special events, volunteer recognition, and fundraising projects. She has experience as a teacher and tutor in elementary schools, as well.
Born to Read is a 501 © 3 non-profit, charitable organization promoting early literacy. Trained volunteers visit new mothers in the Birthing Centers at Beaufort Memorial Hospital and Hilton Head Hospital with a gift bag containing first books for baby, a bib, a T-shirt and other resource materials a new mom might need. The volunteers advise the mothers of the importance of daily reading and talking with their babies starting at birth. The program also provides assistance in locating adult literacy education programs, information on securing a medical home/family doctor, and English as a second language for those needing those services.
Besides the hospitals, Born to Read partners with the Beaufort County School District, the Beaufort County Public Library, and United Way of the Lowcountry to provide these services.