His name was CJ. A 17 year old from my neighborhood in Brooklyn. Those who were fortunate enough to know CJ knew he was a happy go-lucky kid, always smiling and having fun.
On a cool October night, I was awakened by gunshots. I jumped out of my bed, and looked outside my window. CJ’s friend was standing over him shouting for CJ to keep his eyes open, to stay with him and not to die. He continued to talk to CJ until the police arrived, but to no avail, CJ was dead.
That was one of the longest nights I have ever had. Listening to his mother and other family members scream and cry as well as watch as this young man’s life leave him, seemed to make this experience a wakeup call for me.
If young people like CJ had the opportunity to stay in school and off the streets with engaging educational programs, this tragedy all too common in low-income communities, could have been prevented. This is why I want to ask you for support for Green Earth Poets Café.
Green Earth Poets Café a 501 (c) (3) Non Profit Company exists to promote literacy, self-confidence, communication, community, and educational development among young people in low income areas of NYC through performing arts. We assist in the development of creative writers and inspire, encourage, and empower youth to discover their voice and express this voice poetically.
Green Earth Poets Café pursues partnerships with local public schools to allow us to work with their students from ages 12-18 to teach slam poetry performance. We can’t do this without your support, please consider donating to Green Earth Poets Café to help nurture the development of young people from low-income communities.
Your fully tax deductible donations would help Green Earth Poets Café keep our young people in school and enhance their education development by:
· Increasing language awareness through poetry and performance. Studying poetry would help young people expand their oral and written vocabularies. Reading and writing poetry would also help young people become aware of ways in which language can be used and the rhythms, images and meanings that can be created.
· Developing critical and analytical skills of young people. Poems use a variety of techniques — metaphor, imagery, rhyme and meter — to convey meaning. Identifying and mastering these techniques in poetry will help young people develop their analytical and critical skills.
· Enhancing their confidence and ability to take constructive criticism from peers. Performing in front of an audience of peers increases young people’s confidence in themselves and in the work they do. Performing also allows young people and their peers to develop a skin for constructive criticism, a necessity for personal and professional growth.
· Creating community and healthy relationships among their peers and others. Poetry encourages young people to view the complexities of the world in new ways and to develop empathy and understanding for other points of view.
With 75% of our 3rd-8th graders not reading at grade level, a dismal high school graduation rate of less than 50%, and tragedies like that of CJ’s happening every day, programs offered by Green Earth Poets Café are urgently needed to help young people stay in school.
We work with a team of dedicated volunteers and with very limited financial resources. Would you consider partnering with us by contributing a donation to Green Earth Poets Café? Your fully tax deductible donation would be used responsibly and help us meet our operating costs for the year.
I know you believe that all our young people deserve a better chance to succeed, regardless of the neighborhood they live in. I hope you will help Green Earth Poets Café give our young people the opportunity to succeed and stay in school.
I look forward to keeping you updated on our progress. Thank you for your support in this crucial time for Green Earth Poets Café and for our young people.
Curtis Harris, MPA
Green Earth Poets Cafe
PS: Please help Green Earth Poets Café promote literacy, self-confidence, communication, community, and educational development of young people in low-income communities by making a donation today. With 75% of our 3rd-8th graders not reading at grade level and a dismal high school graduation rate is less than 50%, programs offered by Green Earth Poets Café are urgently needed to help young people enhance their academic achievement, stay safe, and stay in school.