Second Chance-Last Opportunity

April Glasco owned a store that was located in the heart of Newtown Sarasota. She witnessed crime, drugs, domestic violence, and unemployment in the community. With those big city type problems, teens were making bad choices and eventually ruining their lives. 

What was the answer? April closed her store and gave away the contents. She then reopened in 1995, with a non-profit organization called, Second Chance-Last Opportunity. 
The name really hits homes, describing the second chance for those struggling with crime, yet most likely, the last chance they will ever receive to make things right. 

This is not a charity. It is a life-management program that provides employment and parenting training, mentoring for children and youth, food, clothing and shelter referrals, along with many other programs and events throughout the year that guide both adults and youth. 

I discovered SCLO after learning that they donated two hundred books to Emma E. Booker Elementary School for their media center. (Library.)

Children are only in elementary school once. After they leave, any opportunities that have been missed will be lost forever. The students at Emma E. Booker were given a second chance at reading wonderful stories and discovering new authors.

Perhaps, this would have been their last chance to read these books.

Emma E. Booker is also known for their experience on September 11th, 2001. The first plane had crashed into the World Trade Center about ten minutes before President George W. Bush arrived at the elementary school. 
Bush entered the second grade classroom, sat down, and faced the children as they read, The Pet Goat. At 9:05, White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card whispered in Bush’s ear that a second plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.

The president waited until the students were finished, praised them for their reading skills, and encouraged them to continue practicing.

Afterwards, the president was supposed to have a short press conference in the library. Instead, he announced, “This is a difficult moment for America.” Bush then spoke about the plane crashes and the government’s immediate response. 

Whether we are faced with the hardships of war, or the difficulties of surviving a horrific economy, or the reality that not all libraries in schools have the resources to provide books for their students, we must find a way to use our skills and passion. 

The motto at Emma E. Booker is, “High Expectations for All!”

Mrs. Dawn Clayton, the Principal at Emma E. Book, is certainly helping students, teachers, staff, and the surrounding community, to anticipate and EXPECT a bright future. Not just for some, but ALL.

As an author, I can contribute my time to give children, youth, and teens a second chance at discovering a world of fascinating books. An opportunity to develop the same skills as authors: Excelling in reading, writing, communication, and building their confidence. 

I challenge all authors to do the same. 

Support schools and programs in your area, even if you just send them a note and say, “Thank you.” 

Ron Knight 

For more on Second Chance-Last Opportunity: http://www.secondchancelastopportunity.org/  
For more on Emma E. Booker Elementary: http://www.sarasota.k12.fl.us/emma/  
For more of my blogs: www.upauthors.com/blog

Photo: Catalyst

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