Fort Wayne Community Schools - home page

Record Number: 2663
Displayed from: Oct 10, 2006 , until: Oct 11, 2006

By all accounts, Food Network Pick of the Day host Curtis Aikens wasn't destined for fame - or even a minimum of good fortune. The celebrity chef was 26 years old when he learned to read. How did he get through school? His charade of literacy included faking poor handwriting on tests so teachers would ask the personable student what it said and he could recite the answer. No one wanted to see a nice guy fail. And so, Curtis Aikens made it through high school, into college, and actually owned his own business without ever really knowing how to read. Today he is a tireless advocate for literacy - a message he will present to students at Anthis Career Center. The Follow Your Passions talk will take place at 9:30 a.m. and again at 1:40 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11 in the auditorium at the center, 1200 S. Barr St. There will be 500 students at each session. Following the presentation all students will receive a sample of his vegetarian chili. Aikens is a popular television and radio personality, a celebrated chef and culinary consultant and the published author of three books, Garden Grocer's Guide to the Harvest, Curtis Aikens' Guide to the Harvest and Curtis Cooks with Heart and Soul. His fourth book, Recipes to Weight Loss and its Control was published in 1997. As an outspoken advocate for literacy, the native Georgian shares his story with schools and literacy groups across the country, and donates a portion of his royalties to literacy programs. For more information, visit his website at:

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.