Dr. Cora Phelps Dunkley
Cuddle Up and Read Every Day (CURED) had its inception in 2013… an idea of Dr. Cora Phelps Dunkley. Her desire was for children to read or be read to every day…a key component to school readiness. She noted there was a special need for children to know about African American cultural books and felt that introducing them and their parents to the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Collection, was an ideal place to start. She shared her thoughts about possibly starting a reading program designed for children ages 4-7 with a few church members. The group was excited about the suggestion and agreed to approach the pastor for
feedback. He requested the group write a proposal and present it to him for perusal. The request was honored, and a proposal was presented. After reading the document, the pastor thanked the group for a job well done and gave his blessings to move forward with instituting the program.
At the time, Dr. Dunkley was Vice Chairperson of the Allen Temple Neighborhood Development Corporation of Tampa (ATNDCT) and asked if CURED could be listed as one of the programs under the component, Education. The request was granted and for the next six years, CURED was associated with ATNDCT.
During that time, several changes were made. They included:
increasing reading audience to include all elementary school children
reading literary books on all cultures and genres
hosting an annual, themed literacy day, and
tutoring students in reading, weekly, in grades K-2nd.
In late 2019, CURED became a 501(c)3 organization. One significant component of CURED is its photo collection of all CSK award winning authors and illustrators. Thanks to a group of University of South Florida students from the School of Information for completing this project. The organization is striving to own a collection of all the award-winning books to have available to showcase and share at various locations upon request. Most of the books were borrowed from Dr. Dunkley's personal collection, and local libraries. They have been displayed and shared at an elementary school, a senior citizens’ luncheon and at a local church during the month of February.
Cuddle Up and Read Every Day - CURED, Inc