Daphne uses books as though they are EpiPens and every student who walks into her room has a mouth full of shrimp. The more books she can get inside of a student the more apt they are to fight the apathetic trap that snares so many of their peers. Daphne spent seventeen years teaching with class sets of Hatchet and Esperanza Rising until 2007 when a friend told her to read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. 584 pages later she began teaching as though books save lives and has never wavered from her mission.
Meet Daphne Russell, the erudite founder and director of Books Save Lives, a remarkable nonprofit dedicated to spreading the transformative power of reading. With her method of connecting students with books that truly resonate with their hearts, Daphne helps young minds break barriers, conquer trauma, and discover the joy of reading.
In this absolutely eye-opening episode, Nancy and Jose are joined in studio by Daphne Russell, a 28 year former teacher and author of the 2018 book "Read or Die" as well as the Founder and Director of Book Save Lives. Having failed at retirement, Daphne is completely focused on building a model to take any student to a promising future by way of reading! Her view is that it is easy to turn any student into a successful reader by giving them agency, autonomy - and the RIGHT books!
Driven by a customer service mindset (with the student as the customer), combined with the right books, Daphne believes we can get all students to self-actualize by reading, if and only if we stop forcing the same book on all students with varied interests and reading capacity.