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Feature Story By Deacon Jumanne Bradford

In a land where parents seem to work harder and longer and broken homes create more and more single parent families, what's happening to the children? Mounting pressures of all kinds consume the youth, violence plagues their streets, the education system fails them with inadequate teachers, unbalanced educational practices, and lack of resources. Someone please stand up and show us how these children are supposed to secure a bright future! Who's there to help them? Well when the call comes, not many hear and of those that do, only a few will stand. For Mrs. Alicia Pendleton, it was a call she could not ignore. With the help of her husband and volunteers, she decided to seek funding for a very unique and innovative after school tutoring and homework aid program. Shortly after many prayers, planning, negotiating, and networking, LiteracyWorks was born!

A positive atmosphere, quiet time, an outlet for creativity, and friendly people are things that young impressionable kids desire. So many do not get this at school and sadly enough, they do not receive it at home either. The LiteracyWorks center is located in Forestville, MD where kids from the Penn Mar Apartments and surrounding communities can come in after school and participate. Among her many attributes, Mrs. Pendleton is very kind and loving. Her patience and compassion make her the ideal teacher and an exceptional mentor. She also has kids from Washington, D.C. and many other parts of Maryland that she tutors. LiteracyWorks also offers a Spring camp and a Summer camp to keep the youth occupied during idle times or when school is out, so that parents can be at ease that their children are safe, increasing their knowledge base and doing activities that are fun, informative and exciting. There is yet another need that LiteracyWorks is filling.

LiteracyWorks has a mentoring program that works in conjunction with the Washington, D.C. Department of Family and Child Services along with the Washington, D.C. Courts to join in the fight to save our at risk youth. These court appointed youth are set up with mentors with the hopes of straightening out there lives and taking steps in the right direction. At the present time, LiteracyWorks is in the middle of a drive to find more dedicated, kind and serious mentors to assist the staff with tutoring, mentoring and instruction. If you have the desire to help children, then you already have 85% of what it takes to be an effective mentor. LaQuanda Coates is an example of the hard work and dedication that is exhibited everyday at the LiteracyWorks Center. In a recent interview, LaQuanda spoke on her feelings concerning her time at LiteracyWorks. She praises her mentors, Alicia Pendleton, T. Calliham, J. Jarmon and J. Bradford for helping her to bring her 1.5 GPA up to a promising 2.83. She has hopes of achieving and 3.0 and making the honor roll this quarter. The once overly shy and quiet LaQuanda is now a giddy and outspoken young lady. LaQuanda has accomplished so much in a short time. Not only has she brought her grades up, but she now has a love for Science that she did not know she had. She also was a part of a great publication entitled, Preserving A Young Generation. She is very proud of what she has accomplished. She highly recommends the program to everyone she comes in contact with. Her story is just one of many. If you have a desire to aid in the mission please contact Alicia R. Pendleton, Executive Director of LiteracyWorks Communication and Technology Center, Inc. @ (301) 324-5292 or email: for more information. Our kids need you now, please do not hesitate. God bless.

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