Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Books Fill a Need in Thoreau

Ophelia Hu, Reader to Reader’s new Navajo Outreach Coordinator, visited the Thoreau Community Center in Thoreau, NM.

Reader to Reader conducted a needs assessment during our visit in May and Ophelia was delighted to see the more than 1,000 books we donated are now on the shelves.

The community center was the brain child of a Juliana Ko, who moved to the small town to teach 8th grade math as part of a two-year service commitment. She spotted an abandoned building and went about securing it as a gathering place for local teens. A gathering place was desperately needed to combat the hopelessness that encouraged gang activity. Even worse, the town bore the weight of 15 teen suicides and 90 reported attempts.

Ophelia is spending the year living and working on the Navajo Nation where she will work on the expansion of our Navajo Mentoring Program and College Knowledge Program.

Funding for the Navajo Outreach Coordinator position comes in part from the Hiatt Family, the Fordham Street Foundation, John & Elizabeth Armstrong, and Lynn & Jean Miller.

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