Chandler Champion


September is National Literacy Month and there’s no one else who could be more excited than Miss Alabama 2013 Chandler Champion!  Chandler has had a great passion for reading all of her life.  Her love for reading inspired her to spend the past seven years promoting her message about the importance of literacy through her Miss Alabama platform:  “Chandler’s Challenge” which is to read every day. “Reading is Believing - Don’t Stop Believing.”  Her goal is to bring awareness and help make a difference with the literacy problem that plagues not only our state, but our country as well. 

After visiting Rushton School for the first time in August of 2011 to donate books for the school, along with the Optimist Club of Birmingham, and seeing the great need for additional books, Chandler was determined to do whatever she could to replenish the very outdated library at Rushton School.  She enlisted the support of the Optimist Clubs of the greater Birmingham area (a volunteer organization dedicated to “bringing out the best in kids”) to help raise funds through several Books-A-Million Book Fairs to purchase books for Rushton School, as well as for other schools in the community in need of books.  Through Chandler’s continued contact with the director of Rushton School, Armanda Purifoy, she learned that the school had been trying for the past 8 years to get help with establishing a functional library for the students.   

In December 2012, Chandler spearheaded the project to create a new library for the students at Rushton School.  Over the next several months, she worked diligently to create a system for categorizing, labeling and cataloguing books for the library.  New bookshelves and a computer desk, along with a library table and chairs, were provided by the Optimist Clubs of Birmingham and Leeds.  With donations obtained through fundraisers with the Birmingham area Optimist Clubs, along with the donation of computer equipment, the library was developed at no cost to the school!    

On Friday, April 19, 2013, the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the Chandler Champion Rushton School Library, named in Chandler’s honor, took place.  Over 1500 books are now available for the students’ use!  A new Encyclopedia Britannica computer program was purchased for use by teachers in the classroom, which enables students to have access to online information for research papers and other educational purposes.  The Chandler Champion Rushton School Library has made a significant difference in the lives of both students and teachers!   


1401 20th Street South
Birmingham, AL 35205
Gateway Family Resource Center
Fax: 205-510-2621