Vanessa and I were honored to have been invited to join the “Leaders and Readers” event at FRIENDS Associations for Children this past week. FRIENDS featured members of the media as readers for National Read Across America day. We showed up bright and early at Robert L Taylor Center in Church Hill North to participate and read from the Dr. Seuss book “Green Eggs and Ham”. We spent about an hour with David Young, who serves as the Executive Director since 2012 who sat with us and others from bigger publications on what makes FRIENDS different and how dedicated they are to their mission.
For example, did you know that FRIENDS was founded in 1872 by Lucy Goode Brooks, who was born a slave in Richmond? When she was freed, she founded an orphanage for all the black children abandoned by their masters after the war. The organization evolved from aiding the adoption process to the child development program, including health education, music and performing arts and youth development that it is today.
The primary focus of FRIENDS Association for Children is Early Childhood Education programming and support for families in the Richmond Metro area. We provide quality programs in a safe, nurturing environment. Our programs enhance academic and social development and promote school readiness in our young students.
Letting these young children know about the myriad of options for career growth at such a young age is integral to this development and school readiness. Representing ‘digital media’, Vanessa and I did our best to read “Green Eggs and Ham” with as much energy as we could to a crowd of children, who seemed to love every second of why Sam who would not, could not eat green eggs on a boat or with a goat!
Afterward, each child got to take home a book to add to their own library to encourage reading at home.
These events are great in the social development of our young children and the journey to fund the program is always at the forefront of the challenge to run these centers (in Gilpin Court and in Church Hill). FRIENDS must raise at least $700K a year to maintain operations, so every dollar helps.
To donate to FRIENDS, you can do so through Paypal here: https://friendsrva.org/get-involved/donate/
Or if you prefer, mail a check to:
FRIENDS Association for Children
1004 Saint John Street
Richmond, VA 23220
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Check out a profile posted a couple of years ago: