Justice-Involved Youth Create Literary Resource for Village of Ford Heights

Justice-involved youth enrolled in the construction program at IYC Harrisburg/Booker T. Washington Alternative High School constructed a new literacy resource for the village of Ford Heights. The students spent nearly four months learning to build and construct four library boxes to be placed throughout the community with supplies secured through District #428’s own resources and grant funding.

Born of a conversation about literacy in Ford Heights, Willa Taylor, director of education and engagement at the Goodman Theatre, and Rev. Tiffany Trent, a local minister at God Can Ministries United Church of Christ, expanded the partnership to include the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice and IYC Harrisburg/Booker T. Washington Alternative High School, and Open Books, who will continually supply books to the library boxes.

“We are thrilled that our youth are making such a positive contribution to a deserving community”, says Dr. Sophia Jones-Redmond, superintendent of District #428.

Heidi Mueller, Director of the Department of Juvenile Justice notes that, “The boxes are symbolic of how collaboration, hard work, and a shared goal between partners can produce a meaningful resource for children and their families. The department is proud to share the talents of our youth with the village of Ford Heights, the Goodman Theatre, God Can Ministries United Church of Christ, and all of the families who will take advantage of the free books.”

A dedication ceremony for the library boxes will take place on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 at 12 p.m. at Tidye A. Phillips School, 1401 E. 13th Place, Ford Heights, Ill.



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