July 2019 Newsletter
At New Chapters, we’ve recently added $2,500 in new books to our libraries at Orchard Place Campus, kicked off our summer reading program, and updated our website with more features. Stay up to date on all of our happenings by reading our July Newsletter!
Newsletter | July | 2019
Reflection Journal Written by Former At-Risk Youth
For years we have wanted to find a book that we could hand out to the kids we connect within our libraries. We wanted a book with universal appeal that would be meaningful and impactful. The perfect book has eluded us. Recently, New Chapters was contacted by Aisha Thomas, who authored “Trendsetter: 7 Steps to Radically Stand Out To Be The Best You.” Aisha found our website while searching for organizations whose mission is to help at-risk youth. She was an at-risk youth who has managed to overcome many years of challenges and traumatic experiences. She has made it her life’s work to bring hope and the benefit of her experience to youth in similar situations to show them that it is possible to overcome significant obstacles and live a happy life.
Her book is part narrative, part thought-provoking questions, and part journal to help kids examine their own lives, experiences, and choices. This reflection can help kids view their situations in a different light and encourage them to make small changes in attitude and actions that can lead to big changes in the trajectory of their lives. Thanks to a supportive donor, we are going to purchase 10 of these books as a trial to see what the kids think of them. We are hopeful that this may be the book we have been looking for.
Saint Francis of Assisi Mission Awareness Day
This past spring, the fourth graders at Saint Francis of Assisi School in West Des Moines, sponsored a school-wide Mission Awareness Jeans Day in support of New Chapters. Students, teachers, and administrators participated and a grand total of $1,305.92 was raised! This is the second year that the fourth graders have selected New Chapters as their mission to support. The students appreciate their wonderful school library and all the books they have in their homes. When they learned that there are many kids who do not have access to good books, they were determined to help New Chapters keep the shelves in our libraries stocked with the latest titles. If your school, club, or organization is planning a fundraiser, please consider New Chapters and the kids we serve as your beneficiaries!
$2,500 In New Books for Orchard Place Campus
We recently had the opportunity to check in with the kids served by our libraries in Jacobson, Shiffler, Aliber, and Bright Houses at Orchard Place Campus.
We pride ourselves on keeping high-interest titles on our shelves and strive to keep our book selection current and appealing to the specific audience served by each library. It was really fun to visit with the kids about what kinds of books they enjoy reading, and they had plenty to say!
We got specific requests such as “the entire Maximum Ride Manga Series” as well as general requests for more thrillers, more romance, and more stories about kids with problems. We then took those requests and turned them into reality by placing approximately 250 new titles on the shelves. We are so happy to serve so many avid readers.
Kids Choose Books to Celebrate Summer
We kicked off our summer reading program by allowing the kids to choose a book to keep for their own personal libraries. It was so fun to watch them read the book summaries and try to decide which to choose.
For many of the kids, it was a hard decision! The opportunity to choose something that they could call their own was not taken lightly and the smiles and “thank you’s” we received were plentiful!
Summer is hot, but what better way to spend your time than grabbing a good book and finding a cool place to read it! Some kids attend summer school, and some are out of school for the summer, but we continue to staff our libraries each week so that the kids can check out a book and always have a fun way to pass the time.
An Easier Way to Donate
We’ve recently updated our website so that it is now easier than ever to make a donation. Simply click on the Donate Now button on our website and enter your contribution. We continue to be a part of the Birdies For Charity program in central Iowa. Wells Fargo and Sammons Financial Group graciously give a 10% match to every donation that New Chapters receives!
New Chapters is grateful to all of our wonderful donors; we could not do what we do without each one of them!
We thought it would be fun to start a Donor Spotlight series to learn more about our donors and find out what drew them to New Chapters.
We enjoy hearing the different aspects of our mission that resonate with different people, and we think you will too! Check out our Donor Spotlight Series.
Here is a heart warming story that one of our volunteers shared about a recent experience she had at Polk County Juvenile Detention Center. This is just one of the many interactions we have with the kids that keeps us coming back week after week.
“Two girls from different classes were grumpy and said they didn’t want to go to the library today. I stood there in the doorway and said, ‘Really? Come on.’ They both finally shrugged and came with me. We ended up just sitting on the floor and totally enjoying a talk about their favorite genres of books! The more we talked, the more animated they became. A teacher stopped us on our way back to class and said to one of the girls, ‘I have not seen you laughing and smiling for so long!!’ It’s not like that every week, but pretty great when it is!”
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.