Little Flower® is a proud partner of the Helping Our Loved-Ones Learn and Achieve! Community Development Corporation (HOLLA!). HOLLA! is located in Anson County, North Carolina.



HOLLA!, a North Carolina non-profit organization, provides a variety of services, activities and programs that aid in increasing children’s test scores, and better equip them to make positive contributions to society.

The picture below shows HOLLA!’s CEO Leon Gatewood and a group of “cool” reading stars.

According to HOLLA! founder, Leon Gatewood, “our partnership with Dr. Florita Bell Griffin, and Little Flower, is an aligning of the stars.” He adds, “the message of ‘Little Flower’ and its emphasis on literacy is completely aligned with the mission of HOLLA!.”

During the  2015 United Way Program Review for continued operational support of HOLLA!, the Little Flower Learning System (LFLS) was introduced as the HOLLA! “Program of Choice” for supporting community-wide literacy.

HOLLA! began implementing a three-week Little Flower Learning System Pilot Program on June 30, 2015  with a cohort of students between the ages of 8-13. The program was a success!

HOLLA! Little Flower Literacy Collaborative Logo


Pictured  above is the HOLLA!’s Little Flower Resident Teacher, Mrs. Johnie Pettiford, and  participants in the HOLLA! – Little Flower Pilot Program.  According to Mrs. Pettiford,  “Little Flower has opened up a window with a breeze of fresh air flowing through it and it has captivated our children.”

HOLLA! Little Flower Resident Teacher 

Mrs. Johnie Pettiford is a North Carolina Pre-K Teacher at Morven Elementary School. She holds two degrees from the University of NC at Pembroke, one being a B-K Bachelor of Science and, the other, a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Her belief is that “if you plant the seed of reading, our children can and will blossom beyond our expectations”. She has practiced this belief by acting as an advocate for literacy in both her profession and various community involvement activities.

Demonstrating her passion for building the literacy skills of children, Mrs. Pettiford has collaborated with several organizations in Anson County and surrounding areas. She is a chartered member of the Anson County Partnership for Children. Her work with them has included being a certified instructor for programs such as, Motheread and Raising a Reader. She has also served as a local and regional board member for the Hampton B. Library for 12 years. Her interests have most recently led her to volunteer as the Program Coordinator for HOLLA!.

In keeping with her activism for literacy, her focus with HOLLA! has been in tutoring elementary and middle school aged students since 2013. She is a certified tutor by the United Way’s ReadWriteServe Tutor Training. Additionally, she has developed reading activities for HOLLA!’s Reading Room, and guided book club discussions. Currently, she is the HOLLA! Little Flower Resident Teacher, and will function as a reference for future teachers becoming involved with the program.

Mrs. Pettiford said: “Mrs. Jonny L. Trotti, a retired librarian walked into the HOLLA! Reading Room during a Little Flower reading session. She got my attention, introduced herself and stated her reason for the visit. She wanted to donate books to the Reading Room from her home library that had been the family favorites over the years. I was elated to find out she is a retired librarian with a love for books and a knowledge of the importance of being a good reader. The curiosity of what was going on in the Reading Room got the best of her and she asked the question, ‘What are the children doing today?” I was more than happy to tell and show her. I introduced her to the Little Flower Book 1 “How Little Flower Got Her Power”. She recognized the author’s Bell family name, which she was very familiar with, especially, Asa Bell. In the conversation she shared her connection to the family.

She excitingly, asked to take a look at the book and was immediately captivated by the words jumping off the pages. The next question she presented me with was “May I take this home and read it?” I thought it was an awesome happening that she wanted to be a part of the Little Flower reading program. I made one request of her, which was giving feedback on her reading through a book review and the rest is history.

Jonny has completed Book 2. She dropped in this Saturday morning and joined the reading session with the children, where she started the reading of Book 3. She blended into the session beautifully. During the session she and the Little Flower readers came together for a book discussion period. They compared notes on Little Flower’s ventures. Little Flower Novelettes are a MUST read for the young and young at heart.”

“Plant the seed of reading and see what happens….”

BOOK ONE (Yellow) – Where Little Flower Got Her Power (Inspired Research Topics)

HOLLA! Little Flower Pilot Program Readers



HOLLA- Little Flower 1

Holla Pilot 5

Holla Pilot 3

Holla Pilot 2

Holla Pilot 1


Want to know why the kids at the HOLLA! Reading Room are posing with Nehi Orange sodas today?

Read the book, “Where Little Flower Got Her Power” to explore Little Flower’s world and find out!


In the pictures below, students are engaged in oral presentations of “Where Little Flower Got Her Power.”

HOLLA Chapter Summary 2 HOLLA Chapter Summary 3

HOLLA Chapter Summary 1

Book2 Group


Florida Trip 1 Florida Trip 2


2 girls

Little Flower Art Project – “Our Flowers”

Art Project


Nyla Edwards girl 2 girl 1 Brenre Taylor Boy 2015082995105509


Below parents observe, as Dr Griffin discusses Little Flower with young people at the HOLLA! Center, during the HOLLA! 5K Walk/Run into the Freedom of Literacy Event in May 2015.




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For more information about HOLLA! please visit www.holla.ws.