Our Core Values

1. We value intergenerational social interaction as an opportunity to share cultural heritage and values.

2. We value children and youth as powerful, important resources for the future of any community.

3. We value reading aloud as an effective medium to build relationships and develop an interest in reading.

4. We value service to others as a powerful method for personal growth and an increase in self-worth.

5. We value our relationship with our community and our country as a public trust by providing services with the highest integrity and sound business practices.


We are honored

To carry on the legacy of Stephen R. Lewis, M.D.

A beloved and respected physician, and family friend. His life was an exemplary model of dedication to family and community, and a strong belief in providing a foundation for children and youth to be successful in life. To that end, our Board of Trustees has established the Stephen R. Lewis, M.D. Legacy Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation with the purpose of funding the leadership position of Reading Legacies, the Stephen R. Lewis, M.D. Presidential Chair.

Reading Legacies is working closely with his family to deliver programs with highest integrity that will fulfill his vision for children and youth. The Board is both grateful for and humbled by the generosity of so many of Steve’s family and friends. Together, we are paying a high tribute to this wonderful man’s life. In order to participate in this Legacy Fund, simply make note of this on your contribution. If you desire further information, please contact us.

We Believe Children Deserve

To Be read To On a Daily Basis


We've seen time and again how children develop a love for reading when loved ones take the time to sit down and share a story with them. Those special moments have the power to impact children for the rest of their lives.


We offer several opportunities for families learn new tools and techniques to instill the habit of reading aloud with children. You can get involved by volunteering with Reading Legacies to help us achieve this important goal.


Reading to a child for just 5 minutes a day can dramatically increase their educational and emotional success as they grow. Bonding through reading not only helps children to feel supported and loved, but can can also increase rates of early childhood literacy.

Paul M. Bowers

Paul M Bowers Creative has spent decades helping individuals and organizations tell their stories by creating written and visual content, media and in-person presentations.

He’s an eclectic creative leader with a demonstrated history of creating and implementing storytelling for the Marketing industry. Skilled in creating and managing still and moving photography, video, advertising, writing, editing, presentation, art direction and nearly everything else an organization needs to tell their story to others.

Strong business development professional with a BA focused in Business / Marketing. Trained in (and believes in) Mediation, Restorative Practices, Restorative Justice and Inclusive Communication.

Elana Levens-Craig

Elana Levens-Craig possesses nearly two decades of executive-level corporate, non-profit, and education leadership with lauded success in a myriad of environments. She is a former special education teacher in both public and non-public schools. Elana is currently serving her tenth-consecutive year as an elected member of the Santee School District Board of Education, most recently serving as Board President. She co-founded Packaging Solutions for Today’s Industry in 2004 with her husband, and successfully sold the company in 2020.

Elana’s volunteer activities include East County Meals on Wheels, Father Joe’s Villages, Jewish Family Service, Susan G. Komen, Salvation Army, Rotary International, and events with the local Chambers of Commerce. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree, Magna Cum Laude, and Master’s degree from San Diego State University and is the recipient of more than a dozen industry and volunteer awards. When she is not traveling, hiking or reading, she is spending time with her two grandchildren

Derek Cox

After retiring from professional football, Derek earned his Master’s in Business Administration at UCLA Anderson School of Management and is an Independent Sports Agent and Conultant.

Derek believes that the Reading Legacies initiative can bring much needed motivation to youth. Many of them struggle with motivation and understanding how they can make a difference in the world. This program shows them that they can make a difference in the world at the most important place – home.

Shaun r. Wiley

Shaun has been involved with marketing efforts for nearly 20 years. His current role as an executive marketing consultant at ZUZA Marketing Asset Management allows him to work closely and guide business leadership from various industries across the globe. Before moving to California in 2014, he served as Director of Admissions with the Art Institutes in Georgia and Florida. As an alumni of Georgia State University, he holds a dual-Bachelors in Journalism and Sociology. His secret to success: Treat others like they want to be treated.

Mike Haynes

A graduate of ASU and former New England Patriot and Los Angeles Raider, Mike is a member of the NFL Hall of Fame as well as the All NFL 100 Year Anniversary Team. He serves on the board of the Retired Hall of Fame and is the national spokesperson for the American Urological Association. A father of six, Mike is a strong advocate for children and youth in San Diego and beyond.

Eric Manese

Eric is Branch Manager at Rancho Santa Fe Insurance. Aside from serving as a Trustee for Reading Legacies, Eric is a Board Member and Finance Committee Member at Sharp HealthCare Foundation, and President at Future Legends Chuck Courtney Honorary Scholarship Fund.

Julie Beaty

Julie is currently a community volunteer recently relocated to San Diego. A graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law and Birmingham-Southern College, Julie has extensive experience in public policy and law in Washington, DC. 

Mike Malone

Mike is an experienced senior software executive who has specialized in managing and growing leading edge technology companies. He was the founding President of the San Diego Software Industry Council and has served as a Director and advisor to many San Diego technology companies. Mike began as a Vistage Chair in 2005, and currently chairs a Chief Executive Group and a Trusted Advisor Group since March of 2008. He currently coaches 31 CEOs of companies of various sizes.

Richard Radosh, Attorney at Law

Richard M. Radosh, Attorney at Law, is a sole practitioner helping clients with wills, trusts, philanthropy planning and corporate governance. He is also an avid trumpet player performing with the Coastal Communities Concert Band. Richard serves on the Board of Directors and as Development Director of the Coastal Communities Concert Band Foundation which supports and operates the band. During 2009, He served as principal researcher on the San Diego Jewish Community Foundation study entitled “Feeding the Hungry in San Diego.” During 2007, Richard worked as a temporary executive for United Through Reading®, Betty Mohlenbrock’s previous organization, assisting with the organization’s transition to its current CEO.

Betty J. Mohlenbrock, M.Ed.

Betty is an educator, reading specialist, Founder and CEO (Retired) of Family Literacy Foundation, United Through Reading, and Founder and President of Reading Legacies (her current endeavor).  


Betty’s numerous awards include The Congressional Medal of Honor Society Community Service Hero Award for United Through Reading, the Peter Drucker Award for Non- Profit Innovation, LEAD San Diego Visionary Award, Traditional Home “The Classic Woman Award”, University of Illinois Alumni Humanitarian Award, Coronado Legend Award, the Daughters of the American Revolution Medal of Honor, and the George Washington Honor Medal from Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge San Diego Regional East County Chamber of Commerce 20th Annual Women in Leadership Award, the Success Above Self Award from the Rotary Club of Coronado, San Diego Business Journal’s Business Women of the Year Finalist. 


Her educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts, as well as a Master’s Degree in Education with a specialty in teaching Reading. Both degrees are from the University of Illinois.  

Macks Fleming

My name is Macks Fleming and I joined Reading Legacies, following a partnership developed while working at the Logan Heights Library, in January of 2024. My background is in Culinary, having spent over 10 years in the industry, I never shy away from an opportunity to pull out the steel! 🔪 

I cherish working at Reading Legacies because of my children, Sebastian & Maya. When I look at the connections from my own childhood, I have fond memories of being read to by almost every member of my immediate family at some point. Reading is important because it inspires you to think creatively and be yourself! ✌🏾

Ronald Diaz

My name is Ronald Diaz and I joined Reading Legacies in June 2023. Born and raised in southern California, I earned my BA in Psychology and Philosophy from Claremont McKenna College and have worked extensively with non-profits throughout the San Diego area providing support with volunteer and staff management, program development, community engagement, and fundraising! I’m currently working with the Reading Legacies team to ensure that they have the resources and community support to continue doing their essential work: building relationships and creating reading legacies! I grew up around books and own too many (if there is such a thing), my favorite children’s book is “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (Dr. Seuss), but mostly that’s because it’s the title my son requests the most for storytime.

Nicole Vargas

My name is Nicole Vargas. I joined the Reading Legacies team in January 2023. I have a BA in Child Development from Point Loma Nazarene University and 6 years’ experience working with children from ages infancy to adolescence. My role as the Storybook Readers Program Manager is to oversee the programing and implementation of our Youth Readers and Storybook Inspirations programs. As a child development professional, I have firsthand experience seeing the immense impact that reading aloud to children has on their early literacy skills and relationship building within the family and community. One of my favorite children’s books is If You Give A Mouse A Cookie by Laura Numeroff.