Words by Tess Becker
Storytelling is incredibly important for kids in their formative years. Stories of heroes can inform a sense of purpose, and family stories can help kids feel like they can find belonging anywhere. In general, these stories inform our everyday lives and can help shape who we become.
Seeing that impact, a Los Angeles couple started taking time to read stories to elementary school kids. Then they started the J3 Foundation to help with early childhood development, but that wasn’t the end of it.
The couple, Joe Blackstone and Jamie Mohn, learned that two-thirds of fourth graders who cannot read proficiently end up in prison or on welfare, so they decided to add to J3 with J3’s Cozy Reading Club.
The reading club is a two-hour after-school program tailored to 4th and 5th graders that promotes reading as well as also builds children’s confidence and promotes positive study habits. The kids are read a book then are allowed to read books of their own volition, then are given two to borrow and take home.
“The magic of our program is that we provide a safe space where all students get to rediscover the joy and magic of a good book,” Sr. Program Director Stacee Longo said on the foundation’s website.
At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.
J3 Foundation. They help kids in the Los Angeles area with early development. Find out more and support them here.
KID. They help support kids and families in crisis and with mental health support. Find out more.
Save the Children. A humanitarian org that helps kids around the world. Support them here.