Email #55: Areena Launches Book Drive Across Chicago! (2/17/17)

Last week we mentioned several Super Bowl participants doing great things off the field. One of those we singled out, Patriots rookie receiver Malcolm Mitchell, has started receiving national attention for his efforts on behalf of youth literacy.
Areena applauds Malcolm’s work, which is so important given the educational obstacles facing so many of America’s youth. Our public schools have struggled for decades and now are facing complete abandonment. Those who depend on these schools, those without the resources to explore other options, will be left out in the cold. Without being able to read and write – without these basics – they’ll be unable to compete in the modern workplace.

Can we solve a problem this large? Of course not.

Can we do our part? We’re already doing it.

Today we are announcing that in April and May, Areena is partnering with Cook Country (Illinois) Commissioner Bridget Gainer’s office to lead a book drive throughout the city of Chicago. The drive, enlisting support from more than 100 bars and restaurants, will benefit the young men and women at the county’s Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC).

This is the first event of our new program called “A Smarter Country”.

From the JTDC website:

“The Juvenile Temporary Detention Center provides temporary secure housing for youth from the age of 10 through 16 years, who are awaiting adjudication of their cases by the Juvenile Division of the Cook County Courts. The Center also provides care for youth who have been transferred from Juvenile Court jurisdiction to Criminal Court. These youth would otherwise be incarcerated in the county jail.

The Juvenile Temporary Detention Center provides the children with a safe, secure and caring environment with programs and structure that enhance personal development and improve opportunity for success upon return to the community.”

The kids at JTDC have not been convicted of anything. They come from terrible home environments and find themselves trapped in the system. Worst of all, they feel left behind. They feel forgotten.

The impact of handing one of these kids a book is huge. Yep. One book. It’s a game changer. A life changer. And you can get involved. Here’s how:

  • If you’re in Chicago, email us and we’ll tell you where you can drop off your used books.
  • If you’re in New York, Boston or D.C., we’ll be doing similar drives over the coming months. Email us to join our street team, recruiting bars and restaurants.
  • If you’re reading this anywhere else in the country and are interested in operating your own book drive, just drop us a line and we’ll help you get started!

We all have books sitting on a shelf somewhere. Books we will never read again. Why not give those words a chance to open a young person’s mind?

No matter your political views, one thing is certain: we need a smarter country. This can be a positive step in that direction.

Art Gurwitz.
Founder. Areena.

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