Pontoon neighborhood gets new investment in literacy – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Kids in the Bonton neighborhood of South Dallas will soon have a new place to hang out and spend time with a good book.
The Literacy Lab has now been set up within a neighborhood community centre.
Scott Turner, a resident Frisco team member who founded a new non-profit organization called Council for Community Participation and Opportunity.
Literacy Lab is her first project. The goal is to give children between the ages of 3 and 3 a place to build reading skills and, just as importantly, to see themselves in the books they read.
“A lot of the books here are representative of the kids who live in Pontoon and so you’ll see people of color,” Turner said. “And we are not saying that our white brothers and sisters in society are unable to teach in this way, but when children come to see books that represent who they are or where they come from or also achieve great things, studies show that it encourages them.”
“These kids have to see, hear and know about people who are like them. People who share their life experiences, and if they can read a book that tells a great story to someone in their own environment or it was written by someone, can you imagine that?” she said. Linda Yacarino, president of Global Advertising and pPartnerships for NBC 5’s parent company NBCUniversal.
She chairs the national board of the nonprofit Turner. The two met while on duty Presidential Councils And I discovered a common interest rooted in fitness. Yaccarino is a mother of two children who have benefited from sports. Turner is a former NFL player and state representative who grew up in the Dallas area.
The pillars of his nonprofit are sports, mentorship, and economic opportunity. Turner believes that these three are the tools that can empower the millions of children in the United States who live in poverty.
“When a child or even an adult changes, when their way of thinking changes, their outlook changes. When the conversation goes from despair to hope, from that I will never get out of here to a man, I know I can make something out of myself,” Turner said. It was here, that’s our heart, that’s our mission.”
And he wanted to start that mission in a neighborhood connected to his past.
“My mom is from southern Dallas and I told my mom, ‘One day I was going to go back to southern Dallas and help this community,'” Turner said.
The reading and writing lab is now closed due to COVID-19 restrictions in Dallas County, but the nonprofit Turner is planning a big celebration when kids can finally use the space and read their way to a brighter future.