BENEFITING: Rising Ground
The Learning Center at the Leake & Watts Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is a really cool educational resource for at-risk youth at the non-profit agency where I work. The RTC provides 24-hour residential care to youth that require intensive therapeutic and educational support. A lot of these kids come from low-income neighborhoods and are dealing with everything from psychiatric challenges such as bipolar to things like anger management issues. The staff at the RTC teaches them to think about their challenges in new ways, teaches them conflict resolution skills and helps them change their behaviors.
The Learning Center is one of my favorite aspects of the program because the kids can go and hang out, use the computer lab for schoolwork or their own creative projects, get tutoring and homework help from a dedicated group of volunteers, and use the library! Anyone who knows me knows that I love to encourage children and teens to read, and so I want to help expand the library that is available to these teens. Right now the Learning Center Library only has a few shelves of books -- teens enjoy borrowing some of the popular Harry Potter and Twilight books that have been donated. But I would love to purchase a really nice set of YA Urban Literature that will really appeal to these teens. Books by authors like Walter Dean Myers, Virginia Euwer Wolff, Rita Williams-Garcia and Jacqueline Woodson, who have earned Coretta Scott King Literary and Newberry Honor Awards, will be a lot more relevant to the teens on our campus. I'd also like to get them some memoirs of African American and Latino public figures, poetry and hip hop lyrics by popular artists such as Tupac Shakur, Common and Jay-Z, and graphic novels. $1000.00 will buy over 100 books for the Learning Center Library, which would be a really cool start to building a wide-ranging library.
For more information on Leake & Watts and the Residential Treatment Center, check out our website: http://www.leakeandwatts.org