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Hometown TV personality Dawn Baker to present at Savannah Book Festival

Posted: February 12, 2012 - 12:07am | Updated: February 12, 2012 - 10:46am
WTOC news anchor Dawn Baker has written a self-help book, "Dawn's Daughter: Everything a Woman Needs to Know," which she will discuss and sign at the Savannah Book Festival.
WTOC news anchor Dawn Baker has written a self-help book, "Dawn's Daughter: Everything a Woman Needs to Know," which she will discuss and sign at the Savannah Book Festival.

She may work in television, but Dawn Baker doesn’t always approve of the content of today’s TV programs.

“It’s my opinion that reality TV is destroying our youth,” the WTOC news anchor says. “Yes, a lot of adults watch it as guilty pleasure, but we know from living that these things aren’t real.

“I sit back and wonder why TV has changed and society has changed and why it’s so violent,” she says. “Why aren’t people setting goals and trying to be all they can be?”

Baker decided she wanted to be part of the solution. The result is her self-help book, “Dawn’s Daughter: Everything a Woman Needs to Know,” which she will present Feb. 18 at the Savannah Book Festival.

At 4 p.m., Baker will discuss her book in the Jepson Center board room. From 5:15-6:15 p.m., she’ll sign copies in Telfair Square.

“I’m honored to be a part of it," Baker says. "It’s such an over-the-top year for the festival.”

Baker grew up in Riceboro, a community of 750 people in Liberty County, and went to high school in Hinesville. “If I allowed people’s perception of me to matter, I wouldn’t have accomplished anything.

“It appeared as if the educators viewed all us country kids as different from all the city kids or military kids,” Baker says. “They didn’t expect much from us."

Baker’s mother, Lula L. Baker, an English teacher, was a huge influence. “My mom didn’t push me in terms of being a straight-A student, but she always asked, ‘Did you do your best?’

“I want those girls to know they have everything they need if they take education seriously and be prepared to work hard," Baker says.

Although Baker has no children of her own, she included all the things she’d want a daughter to know. “I realize we’re all the same, no matter what ethnic background, no matter what country we come from."

Twenty percent of proceeds from sales of the book will go to Dawning of a Miracle, a scholarship program Baker has set up for young women with chronic illnesses. “I’ve always wondered how regular families, when they give all their money to keep a child alive, how do they pay for college?” she says. “I hope I can do more.”

The book is available online at, or, and an eBook version is available for download at Books also are available at E. Shaver Bookseller, The Book Lady, the Diaspora Marketplace and the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace.

“There so many issues out there that even younger girls are facing," Baker says. "There are issues at elementary schools that I had no idea about.”

And presenting the book has been a growing experience for her.

“The girls really are bringing up topics I wasn’t aware of. Sometimes we don’t realize how much those lessons we were taught as kids remain with us throughout our lives.”



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Dawn Baker debuts book on WTOC-TV's Mid Morning Live

Armstrong hosts International Girls Day

Workshops, consultations help young women prepare for future

By Whitney Mattox
The Inkwell Online
Posted November 29, 2011

Organizer Patrina Lingard (left) and keynote speaker Dawn Baker (right) taught young girls about self-confidence Nov. 19.The university hosted International Girls Day Nov. 19. Held in the Student Union, the event was open to girls ages 5-19 years old. Psychology major Patrina Lingard coordinated the event, which she said was designed to "bring attention to the gender and women's studies program, as well as to discuss how the word ‘woman' is constructed."

The theme of the event was "All girls are…" because, said Lingard, "Girls can be anything. They're all different, and all are beautiful."

WTOC news anchor Dawn Baker gave the keynote address.

"Patrina emailed me and told me about her idea, and I thought it was great," Baker said. "It's seldom that you see an event designed to bring together all ages and races."

Baker encouraged girls to never give up, regardless of what may happen.

"You may not achieve everything that you try, but don't give up, because it might not be the plan for your life," she told the crowd.

She also encouraged the young women in attendance to not base their self-perception on what others think.

"Don't wait on someone to tell you what you already know," Baker said. "… All of us have a story, and all of us are powerful beyond our own imagination."

Several facilitators and sponsors also hosted workshops. Lingard was able to get the facilitators for the event by attending Fashion's Night Out, a national after-hours shopping event in September that took place downtown.

"I met most of the facilitators at Fashion's Night Out, and the ones that I met helped recruit the other sponsors," Lingard said.

Workshops were held by organizations such as U-Hatin' University and Grow a Girl Network on overcoming molestation and abuse issues, bullying and other emotional issues. These organizations encouraged girls to rise above their pasts and above their circumstances.

The Grow a Girl Network out of Hinesville featured several speakers who told the girls to be aware of their bodies and the hormonal connection between sex and possible abusive relationships. The speakers spoke candidly about their pasts, with their hope being to encourage girls, as one of the speakers said, to look beyond what society tells them should happen.

Workshops were also held on entrepreneurship, running a business and other related topics. The goal of these individuals was best summed up by Princess Preneurs CEO Belina Bradley, who said the goal of their organization is "to teach young ladies how to become self-sufficient and not have to be dependent on anyone to get the things that they want."

The Savannah Day Spa's glam team also gave free makeovers, and the Style House hosted teen-image consultations, which were designed to help young women gain confidence in their quests for careers and college.

Lingard's final statement best summed up the hope for the entire day: "We want the girls to attend this event to realize that they are beautiful, and they deserve more that the stars. The entire universe is theirs if they want to take it."

Riceboro native’s book offers guidance for young women

By Lewis Levine
The Coastal Courier
Posted November 21, 2011

Riceboro native Dawn Baker, a local television anchor and reporter, can add another achievement to her resume: She’s now an author. Baker’s recently released book, “Dawn’s Daughter: Everything A Woman Needs To Know,” a 142-page, softcover publication, is now on local shelves.

Baker recently hosted an invitation-only book delivery party in Savannah, where hundreds of people from her hometown and the surrounding areas came to pick up copies of the book, which the author describes as a labor of love.

The book, written for teenage girls and young women, is broken down into seven chapters. It includes a forward by Paula Deen, Food Network star and owner of The Lady & Sons. “I was very touched by the premise of Savannah’s own Dawn Baker’s book,” Deen wrote. “‘Dawn’s Daughter: Everything A Woman Need To Know’ is exactly what we need for our teen girls and young adults today.”

Baker tackles subjects ranging from weight issues to relationships to managing careers in short, easy-to-understand segments. In one segment, titled “Make Your Word Your Bond,” Baker reminds readers to keep their word, whether it’s to a friend or a business contact. If you cannot follow through on what you promised, Baker wrote, you should let that person know as soon as possible. “People respect you when you respect their time. One of the goals all of us should share is trying to become the kind of person that people can depend on.”

Baker even addressed a recent fad, the tattoo, which can have lifelong effects on women. Baker pleads with the reader: “Whatever you do, do not tattoo any man’s name on your body. Countless women have gotten tattoos with their boyfriend’s and husband’s names. When they broke up, they were stuck with those names on their bodies as a constant reminder of the love they lost and a mistake they could not take back.” Baker went on to describe how brides fret over old tattoos that seem cute at 18 but send negative messages at 25 on the most important day of their lives. If a tattoo is a must, Baker recommended keeping it out of sight or just getting a temporary one.

In her book, Baker recalled growing up in the small town of Riceboro, where everyone knows each other and neighbors take care of one another. Her parents divorced when she was 2, and she was raised by her mother, Lula Baker, who was a teacher, and her grandparents, Mary Alice and George LeCounte.

When she told her grandfather she was majoring in broadcast journalism, Baker recalled in the book, he looked at her and said, “You wasting your mama’s money to go to that expensive school to learn how to talk? You have been talking long before you were supposed to.” She recalled that when she returned to Riceboro years later to accept a position with WTOC and take care of her ailing grandmother, George LeCounte told her she was doing a great job. In the book, Baker said she not only got an apology from her grandfather for his comment, but she also had earned his respect, which was priceless.

Baker said in an interview during the delivery party that she wrote the book because she was concerned about what she was witnessing in the world around her. “In a time when morality, respect and good old-fashioned manners are somewhat taboo, many of us have been disturbed, angry, critical and have often lashed out at our youth; and yes, for a while I went on my silent rants as well. But I paused as I recalled the familiar saying, ‘If you’re not a part of the solution, you’re a part of the problem.’”

Baker, who has no children, calls this book her daughter. She said it took her a year and a half to put on paper the mistakes she and others have made and compile it into a handbook, which she hopes will serve as a guide to the pitfalls many young women make in their formative years. “I decided to channel my energy in the direction of writing ‘Dawn’s Daughter: Everything A Woman Needs To Know’ to the many young women who are lost. Women seem to be preoccupied with superficial things, sacrificing who they are to fit in, doing anything they can dream of in order to get attention from men, wasting their time gossiping and being jealous of others.” Baker said she hopes young girls and women who read the book will devote time to working on themselves.

Baker is donating 20 percent of the book sales to a scholarship fund: Dawning of a Miracle Scholarship Fund for high school female seniors diagnosed with chronic/life-threatening illnesses.

The book can be purchased at the following websites and Savannah locations: E. Shaver Bookseller at 326 Bull St., Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace House at 10 E. Oglethorpe Ave., and or call 1-888-749-9133. An e-book version is available at