TOWNSHIP – The Huntington Bank and Fiserv, a Wisconsin-based payment processor, awarded $ 10,000 on Monday to a Cleveland children’s book author at a ceremony that also featured Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk .
Margaret Bernstein writes books on father-son relationships, especially those between black fathers and sons.
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The stop is part of Fiserv’s “Mainstreet Momentum” tour of 40 cities across the country during which he distributes cash and consulting services to help small businesses recover from losses linked to the pandemic .
Bernstein, 61, runs a small business called Dad Storybooks through which she writes and publishes her books.
“It’s not every day you get a phone call that says you’ve won a grant from someone calling you, so you tend to disbelieve them,” she told attendees. at the ceremony in the Gold Jacket Lounge. “I’m like, ‘Can you prove to me that this isn’t a scam? But it’s not, so someone pinches me.
Bernstein was a longtime Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter before leaving the paper in 2013.
In an interview, she said she was motivated by the state’s third-grade reading guarantee, which, enacted in 2012, required third-graders to read proficiently to be promoted to the next level.
Bernstein believes the move disproportionately detains minority students, and she left reporting for advocacy.
“I’m just the type of person who says, ‘What can I do?’ », She declared during the ceremony. She discovered that the absence of fathers leads to worse outcomes in the lives of children and decided to focus on this issue.
“I really only have one talent which is writing, so I thought I would let myself write a book,” she said.
Bernstein added that when she was growing up her parents read to her frequently, which helped the family bond.
Thus, “All in a Dad’s Day”, the first track of Bernstein was born. After that she wrote “Donuts with Dad” and more recently she published “The Fathers Walk”.
In all the books, the main characters are black, an important point for Bernstein. When investigating the portrayal of dads in children’s literature, “it was mostly rabbits and horses,” she said. She wanted to fill this gap.
Today, 25,000 of his books are in circulation.
Until now, Bernstein had to fundraise from schools and organizations before printing and distributing books, which was an awkward request. With the $ 10,000 grant, she will be able to print the books before selling them to schools and organizations. The money will also help him buy in bulk.
Marshall Faulk talks business
After Bernstein received the award, Faulk, whose record 12,279 rushing yards for the Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Rams easily earned him a gold jacket in 2011, spoke to attendees.
Faulk retraced his journey from his poor childhood in New Orleans to an estimated net worth of around $ 12 million today.
When he was 10 he couldn’t afford to attend New Orleans Saints games, so he tried to become a salesman instead, but even that required payment at the stadium. So, Faulk started his first business venture, carrying groceries for shoppers from the local supermarket.
Soon he was selling popcorn at the Superdome.
“It’s not often that you meet a guy who’s in the Hall of Fame and started selling popcorn to go to football games, but that’s how my small business life started. “, did he declare.
Later, when he joined the NFL, he and his agent formed their own company so Faulk could negotiate his own trade deals.
The Super Bowl half-champion pointed out to attendees the lessons he learned on the football field and put to use in his businesses and philanthropy: investing in yourself, working well with other people in the field. ‘different horizons and always be ready for change.
“The most talented teams don’t always win, but the more ready teams have better chances,” he said.