Children & Young Adults

Impacting Children in Detention Through Literacy

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$755

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The Impacting Children in Detention Through Literacy Program aims to help youth in juvenile detention improve their literacy through education. The program's goal is to better their reading skills in the hopes that it will give the children confidence in themselves and encourage them to keep out of trouble and away from a lifestyle that is disadvantageous to them. Education is what will make the difference in their lives and lead to positive change.

The Division of Youth and Family Justice works with children who are mandated by the New York City judicial system to be in our non-secure detention program. Most of our children are placed here due to misdemeanor offenses such as writing graffiti or possession of stolen property. Our children attend a special school where there are very low expectations. Much of the work given to these middle and high school students is beyond their comprehension level which causes them to give up instead of risking being embarrassed when asking for the help they need. According to “Literacy Partners”, about 80% of high school graduates in New York City lack the necessary skills needed for community college. For those in juvenile detention this number is much higher; about 27% of incarcerated youth are illiterate.

We would like to change that.

Many children have not been fortunate enough to get the one-on-one attention needed to be comfortable with reading or to comprehend what they've read. With the help of the New York Public Library we would like to help students in juvenile detention find books that are “Low Skill, High Interest” that can be the first step to a foundation in reading, along with today's technology that will help advance their reading skills.

The project will address the issue of illiteracy among New York City youths in juvenile detention and the need for education that will bring positive change into their lives.

Funds raised will be used to renovate part of a recreation room and living room into a media center/library with new desks and bookcases; to equip the center with three tablets, which will be used as an incentive for good behavior; to purchase the educational applications and “low skill, high interest” books for the tablets; to replace outdated used books and purchase new books and magazines for the library; and to hire a daily tutor to assist with homework and projects.

 The boys blessing bags for the homeless

Big Changes

The following outcomes are anticipated:

  • Students will participate in the media center on a daily basis.
  • Students will increase reading levels by one letter grade (according to the NYC public schools reading levels) within one month
  • Students will graduate from high school
  • Students will avoid gang activity.

Timeline

We have already selected a list of books and apps appropriate for our children and are now awaiting funding. We have an internal construction group which will handle room renovation.

The timeline is as follows:

  • June 2015: Fundraising campaign
  • July 2015: Room renovations and book purchase
  • August 2015: Launch Literacy program

Stretch Goals

Stretch Goal #1 $4,550

The funds raised will be used to purchase 4 Tablets and Educational Apps & Books to be used in-house for the residents with the best behavior.

Stretch Goal #2 $7,050

We would hire a tutor for 25 weeks to help with school work, reading and test preparation. 

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