Words On Wheels, Inc.

It only takes one seed to grow a forest. That’s where the story of Words on Wheels begins. It all started when Beth Ragsdale, our founder, was preparing to embrace her next journey in life…retirement. After 40 plus years in the banking industry, it was time to hang up the good old calculator and figure out her next move.  

Hearing the statement that having a successful life can be pretty much determined by the number of vocabulary words received before the age of five!  That is when the magical seed was planted.  All of her memories from years of sitting on boards, volunteering in the Lake County Illinois community, spending time with her children, her grandchildren and all of her nieces and nephews hit her.  Her love of those infant and toddler years, and her desire to make a difference caused that seed to grow even further.

The next phase was the research and testing. First, with her family. They visited a child care center in a low income neighborhood. They brought books to give to each child, and spent time playing with them. The kids loved it, the childcare providers loved it, and Beth and her family loved it.   The seed continued to grow.  Next was the research, which was overwhelming. One statistic that stood out, 76% of kindergartners in Lake County have little to no knowledge a book, feeding the seed even more.

Thereafter, her grandson came up with the name Words on Wheels. Beth recruited her friends and sisters to form the board. They worked together to continue to build up the organization. On 12/22/11, Words on Wheels officially became a 501(c)(3) not for profit. That was the first chapter. The next one begins now.

Today, Words on Wheels brings the words to them.  Our mission is to impact the lives and futures of young children through the power of WORDS.

Help us transform a generation by increasing the early literacy skills to at-risk children. You can take the first step by either donating or becoming a volunteer. We need help to ensure that the future of many children can be changed if enough of us do this FUN work.