I asked my friend, Rose Moon, why she thought artists were important. “Artists are the storytellers of each generation,” she said. If it weren’t for Rose, the at-risk teens she works with at HalfMoon Arts in Fort Collins, Colorado might never have a voice. In providing art instruction and a safe haven, she is also teaching life skills to kids who are living in desperate situations with uncertain futures. Rose loses sleep at night over some of her kids, and tears up when talking about her success stories. People like Rose are my heroes, people who use the arts to better lives and give hope.
I was one of those kids who was never sure what I wanted to be when I grew up. I knew only two things . . . I wanted my work to matter and I wanted to help people. I’m fortunate now to be able to help writers and artists through my business and to work with children through our outreach to schools, libraries, non-profits, and arts organizations. My efforts are small compared to someone like Rose, but they are heartfelt. Some of my projects succeed, some fail, but it’s important to me to try.
This week I launched a crowdfunding effort on Pubslush to raise $10,000 to provide our successful Read A Hero Literacy Program to 25 Boys & Girls Clubs across the country. The curriculum was written with the help of a certified teacher. We spent six months working closely with B & G to develop a program specific to the needs of their kids. Half of low-income children don’t own a single book. My program provides free copies of my Home-Front Heroes books to these kids. And kids reading at grade level by 3rd grade are four times more likely to graduate high school. We want that for these children and maybe, just maybe, our little literacy program will help a few kids get better at reading and writing. I’ve met some awesome kids at Boys & Girls Clubs. Some with hard lives, but big dreams. I’m not as skilled as Rose, and will never be able to do what she does, but I can do this. Please click this link: www.teresafunkeliteracycampaign.pubslush.com and view our project page. Watch our cool video and, if you are so inclined, please donate. And please ask your friends who support children, literacy, and the arts to help us spread the word via social media and other channels. The kids and I thank you.