Chapter One: A Grandmother’s Challenge
Page 15 Founder and Executive Director Julia Young grew up in downtown Orlando, but spent a few weeks every summer at her grandparents’ farm in upstate New York. She spent her days picking vegetables, hiking, and reading.
Both Julia and her grandmother “Teddy” were enthusiastic readers. Julia, however, was also a restless reader. She struggled to stick with new books beyond the first few pages. Teddy, having lived through the hard years of World War II and the Great Depression noticed this behavior with some distress. “I give up” was not a part of her vocabulary.
One afternoon, as Julia sat beside a pile of discarded books, Teddy bestowed upon her granddaughter a personal rule of thumb, a rule that would one day inspire many more generations of young readers.
“When reading a book, you must read until page 15 before you decide whether to keep going or to choose a different story.”
Chapter Two: A Movement Grown from Strong Literary Roots
In 2008, armed with the idea that every Orlando citizen should have access to great literary programming, Julia Young, bookstore owner Bruce Harris, and developer Craig Ustler founded the Urban Think Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to enriching Central Florida’s cultural landscape by developing and growing educational and literary arts programs.
The Foundation itself is the legacy of the Urban Think! Bookstore, which served admirably as downtown Orlando’s local and independent bookstore from 2001 to 2010.
Today, the Urban Think Foundation serves as an umbrella organization to Page 15 and Burrow Press. Between the two programs, Orlandoans of all ages have the opportunity to experience quality literary programing in their city.