In January of this year, Held Law Firm announced plans to work with Knox County’s Richard L. Bean Juvenile Service Center on a new initiative called The Literacy Project. We are thrilled that this project has been hugely successful thus far.
- As of mid-May and with the help of community partners, we have facilitated the delivery of approximately 150 books to the service center.
- We have raised over a thousand dollars to support the program through the GoFundMe page. Donations purchase books and occasional supplies for The Literacy Project. For example, staff requested a small cart to transport books to classrooms, so kids could better access their reading options.
- We raised close to 200 dollars in cash donations during our inaugural fundraising event at Union Avenue Books during the Rossini Festival. We placed those funds directly into a designated bank account for use by the program.
- We’ve had some great positive media coverage, meaning increased program awareness and the potential for many more donations! Visit WBIR’s site to check it out.
- Finally, we’ve learned a lot and adjusted course as necessary by continuing to work closely with Dawn Beigler. Dawn is the juvenile center’s supervising teacher and in charge of administering The Literacy Project. With her help, we have identified which areas of the program needed some reconsideration and worked with her to address them. As a result, this has allowed the program to continue running as smoothly as possible.
WHAT IS THE LITERACY PROJECT?
If this is the first you are hearing about The Literacy Project, we can tell you that it is Held Law Firm’s first operationalized effort at designing and advocating for a policy change on behalf of our clients as a class. We are learning how to better carry out these projects through firsthand experience. As a family law firm, we are constantly working to confront common problems within the family law and juvenile justice systems.
The Literacy Project aims to promote lifelong literacy habits among the Knox County detention center’s population. Kids get books to read at the facility, and extra copies to take home upon their release. Literacy improvement reduces the likelihood that kids will return to detention facilities as adults. Therefore, that directly benefits some of our most vulnerable clients.
This is our effort to engage the Knoxville community while assisting the juvenile justice system in being truly rehabilitative. As a result, this helps children and teens thrive even after leaving the facility. We know this important because if young people succeed, we all do.