Literature for All of Us Fundraiser – Report by Jean A.

In the elegance of the Bryn Mawr Country Club in Lincolnwood, a gritty Chicago issue was addressed in a powerful, transforming way.  The organization “Literature for All of Us” held a fundraiser to “empower teen parents and other underserved youth to transform their lives.”  The program started fourteen years ago around the kitchen table of Karen Thomson.  It sponsors weekly book groups which foster trust, acceptance, and confidence in these young people who read and discuss works significant to their growth.  These young parents talk about what it means to parent.  They are introduced to and provided with beautifully illustrated children’s books to share with their own children.  Another segment of the Literature for All of Us program, Boys Expansion, aims to reach boys faced with the challenge of gangs, drugs, crime, and early parenting.  Recently, the Literature for All of Us initiative partnered with Chicago Women in Trades to train and support women interested in working in the trades.  The book discussion groups encourage these young men and women to express in their own words the journey, the wisdom they have gained from their own experiences.  Below is a poem written by Sandra Wade who was on a Literature for All of Us Girls’ Retreat in Michigan, Spring, 2014.

What We May

May we…
Take in the pouring colors that have fallen.
Fallen from a rainbow on the leaves and scattering nature’s beauty
May we take in the drift?
The drift of the wind that blows silence, peace,and comfort on your skin
Shall I give back?
Give back to nature for its quiet sound that has blessed my eardrums
and took screams from my ears.
Will I remember?
Remember the pink, blues, and greens, or
will I go back to the black and whites of life?
Can I change?
                                  Change the world? No
                                  Change others? No
          Change myself? Yes
                                    May I take in the drift? Yes
                                       Shall I give back?  Yes
                                       Will I remember?  Yes
                                       Can I change? Maybe
                                       Am I giving up? Never!

A number of businesses in North Center sponsored or contributed to this very worthwhile event that changes the outcome of the lives of our young citizens.  These are: American Theater Company, The Book Cellar, Bottles and Cans, Cafe Selmarie, Celtica Gifts, Embellish,  Gather, hazel, Savory Spice Shop, and Sola Restaurant.  When you visit these businesses, thank them for their generosity and support for this organization.  If you wish more information about Literature for All of Us, go online to LiteratureforAllofUs.org.

 

About FWDCHI

Forward Chicago, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization, envisions our neighborhoods as model communities for people of all ages, where residents can age in place while remaining active, engaged and influential.

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