Phillip (Phil) Anderson was born and raised in Indianapolis, IN. He attended Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) in the 1970’s and would later work in IPS.
The idea for the Thomas Family Values came out his working for the school system.
As a teacher’s assistant in a special education class Mr. Anderson challenged students to write stories and then read them aloud in a small group setting. This helped increase the student’s confidence in reading and writing.
Conversely the students encouraged Mr. Anderson to write stories so they could have something interesting to read. The stories became a big hit with the students. The students felt like he was telling their story.
With the help of Mr. Anderson the class went from being a Special Education class to just being a special class. He started a program where he ate lunch with a student or group of students just to talk about their issues. He had lunch dates set out for 2 months.
Professionally, Mr. Anderson graduated from National Louis University, in Tampa, FL. He was a past President of The Manual Black Alumni Association (MBAA) a group that raised money for scholarships for Manual High school seniors.
He was also a past president of The Civil Cervice Conservation Club in Indianapolis, a historically black camping and conservation club with a 75 acre campground in Brown County Indiana.