What an Amazing Problem to Have!

To think where we started, to this moment in time, just fills me with joy. It’s not just the work we do, but the work of our partners and community as well.

The number one request from our youth for both in the program and in the in-house store, is books. Specific books, specific series, but books! These are kids ages 5-12. These are kids at a variety of stages of reading, from not at all to reading novels like Harry Potter.

We put out the call, and our parents, volunteers, and other community members charged right in! We have so many books now that we have outgrown our bookshelf!

Isn’t that a great problem to have!

There were still a series of books the youth specifically asked for that we had not found yet… So in charges our local library to fill the gap! Zackary Hoskins opened up a book-mobile account for the SSYZ, we found all the books the kids were asking for, and will get to borrow them on an extended time line. This is just another way partners are able to help further the goals and minds of the kids!

We honestly can’t say enough about EVPL (Evansville Vanderburg Public Library). They are a deep part of our program on a weekly basis with direct programming and an abundance of resources to help these youth reach their fullest potential! We are humbled to have such great librarians that go above and beyond consistently in order to serve those in our community.

This book boom has us rethinking some aspects of the Tepe Park clubhouse basement. We had bookshelves in our plan already, but we are definitely going to need incorporate more. This is great for our program but it is also great for our neighborhood. Once the clubhouse renovations are completed, all these books we are collecting will also be able to be used in-house for anyone in the neighborhood when they are visiting their community space!

So a huge thank you to our parents, volunteers, community, and EVPL! You guys are making a huge impact on these kids that will last a life-time!

This is what we see as a great example of asset-based neighborhood development.

About the author: Lisa Barnett