Five Amazing Ways We’re Connecting With Kids
Since September 2016 New Chapters’ volunteers have worked directly with hundreds of kids at Polk County Juvenile Detention. We are fortunate to have two remarkable and extremely dedicated women who each and every week give their time to staff the New Chapters library there. They rarely miss a week. They understand the transformative impact of literacy through reading. And they know that the more that caring adults are engaged with a youth’s education, the better outcome the youth is likely to have.
Becky and Laurie do so much more than just show up at Polk County Juvenile Detention each week. Because of their great love of books and their desire to match a youth to a good book, they regularly read the Young Adult books that they are recommending. They believe that a single exposure to good reading material can result in clearly increased reading enthusiasm.
Read below five ways, in her own words, Becky is connecting with the kids at Juvenile Detention.
Two of us from New Chapters visit Polk County Juvenile Detention every week to offer literacy opportunities to the kids who reside there. We try to promote reading to all of the kids (most are 15-18 years old) by personally sharing the many benefits that reading provides: increased reading skills, increased vocabulary, productive use of their free time, better understanding of the many genres of literature, new appreciation of fictional characters or real people in situations similar to their own, and the real possibility that reading could be a relaxing, enjoyable experience!
I have met so many memorable young people during the time I have been volunteering there. We take the kids personally into the library (from their academic classes) and are able to talk one-on-one with all who want to come. We talk about school and life as well as books. Many of the students need the extra attention and encouragement that we try to give–just being a positive adult in their life can be important, even after they are released. I try to be current with my Young Adult reading so I can give authentic, personalized reviews of books I think would fit a specific person. It is just amazing for a book lover like myself, to have one of the kids return the next week and say “I LOVED that book you told me to read! What should I read next?” or “I never liked to read before I came here!”
I love reading and connecting with kids; New Chapters is helping at-risk kids–AND the adults who help them. Thanks to all who support our cause!
About New Chapters Libraries
At New Chapters, our collective passion is to inspire a love of books among at-risk youth. We believe that strong reading skills are essential for every child and that a good book can be very therapeutic and offer a ‘vacation’ from the hardships of everyday life.
New Chapters is committed to making a wide variety of current and high-interest books readily available by creating and refurbishing libraries in residential facilities catering to at-risk children. We also conduct programs aimed at fostering a love of books and increasing reading skills.