As the CEO of Reach Out and Read, Earl M. Phalen works to get four million children annually reading and literate.  He is also the founder of Summer Advantage USA.  The Yale and Harvard graduate was honored by Bill Clinton with the President's Service Award in 1997.  He joined President Obama's 2008 campaign as an education advisor and was co-chair of Massachusetts Governor Patrick's education task force.  During the 2010 BET Awards, Phalen was a Shining Light Recipeint.

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