Thanks to the generous donations from local donors and a strong partnership with the Creative Arts Guild and the three local school systems, the Jonas Foundation partnership brings about 10 artists to area schools each year.
Jonas artist Tommy Johns recently entertained elementary school students and high school students in Dalton Public Schools, Murray County Schools and Whitfield County Schools. He is a talented educator, comedian, magician, puppeteer and storyteller who travels all over the southeast performing programs that encourage kids and teens to read. Johns has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education and has been a full-time educational entertainment specialist since 2006.
His elementary school shows encourage reading, regardless of the topic of the show. He offers shows that teach science, character education, writing, social studies and library skills, but every show is a reading show.
His high school programs are interactive, informative, relevant and always include a little magic. Topics include entrepreneurship and outside the box ways to have a career as an actor, without going to Hollywood. He also emphasizes the importance of reading as a way to success in life as well as school.
"I believe that reading opens the door to learning about everything else in life. That's why all my school and library programs encourage reading," said Johns, who has been a professional performer since his college days.