NCCU student hopes to make reading fun with gifts to schools

Digital stories

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – When Tyler Fisher won a scholarship for an essay, he knew he would wanted to use the money to make a difference.

He took $1,000 winnings from a McDonald’s scholarship and paid for 650 copies of his own book, Fried Chicken and Yams. He even paid a little extra out of pocket to cover shipping.

On Tuesday, he took those books to C. C. Spaulding and Fayetteville Street Elementary schools, where he has been a volunteer. He hopes offering these free books will make reading fun for kids.

“I think reading is important because it builds strong communication skills. It builds strong listening skills as well,” said Fisher.

Fried Chicken and Yams is a book about gratitude. Fisher uses inspiration from his own life in his writing. The book features a family of color, something Fisher wanted to include to ensure children feel represented.

The book is available for sale here.

He writes about adversity and struggling while growing up with less than some of his other classmates. Fisher said he experienced homelessness and poverty as a child. It’s important to him to share those experiences with young readers don’t feel alone.

“I feel like it makes it very personal because some readers they can relate with whatever they’re going through — whether it’s low reading levels or poverty,” Fisher said.

He recalled organizations and individuals helping him during challenging times growing up. They inspired him to do his part to help others as an adult.

“I wanted to give back and hopefully this is the first of many,” Fisher said.

He said he knows what he’s doing in his writing and in his gift giving will make a difference.

“I believe making change in the community doesn’t always have to be big. Even small changes matter,” Fisher said.

He said if you worry your actions are too small to make a difference, don’t be.

“We all have the power to make change in our community.”

Fisher is a member of the Collegiate 100. The organization said it supports the “social, emotional, and educational needs of youth who need positive role models in the communities in which they live.”

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