On Monday of last week, I prepared for the same. I’ve been urging him to at least attempt the work on his own with little success up until this point, however Monday was different. He ate his dinner, and came to sit beside me to ask for help with his homework, but when we opened his packet to the first page, he looked at it for a second, and said “This is easy, can I do it by myself?” I did a double take, said “Of, Course”, and quickly walked away to give him the opportunity, before he changed his mind! When I came back roughly 10 minutes later, he had not only attempted every problem on the page, he had done each one of them correctly! He didn’t even seem to notice what he had done, he just moved on to the next page. I was so proud of him in that moment. I asked him to come with me, and we spoke to the director of the program, Reginald Nichols, When I explained to Reginald what Ja’Quan had accomplished, Reginald, shook Ja’Quan’s hand, and said “Good work young man”. Ja’Quan beamed with pride that was beyond his first grade years. Later when recounting the story to one of his first grade friends at Passage Home, Ja’Quan said, “Mr. Reginald shook my hand, because I tried something new, and did my best”, again his chest and his voice swelling with pride in a way I had never seen before.
This is the work we are doing at The Juvenile Literacy Council; instilling confidence, and pride in students about their own academic abilities. This is the difference the Juvenile Literacy Council is making in the world, and I am so proud and lucky to get to be a part of it.