Mission: Reach Potential Movement equips underserved youth and families with leadership, learning and life skills to strengthen their communities.
• 2018 update: In its Bookshelf In Every Home Project, RPM invites kindergarten and first grade families to participate in an early childhood literacy outreach events at their schools.
“Currently we are working with elementary schools in Mountain View and Sunnyvale with a high percentage of English Language Learners and/or a high percentage of families on free or reduced lunch,” said executive director Malia Pires.
During the family outreach event, they have the opportunity to hear stories read aloud, enjoy a healthy snack, decorate a bookshelf of their own to take home and “shop” for 8-12 books to take home.
“What is unique to Reach Potential Movement and the Bookshelf in Every Home Project is our approach to remove barriers for a family desiring to participate,” Pires said. “We invite the entire family to participate, serving healthy snacks/meals depending on the time of the outreach and by providing translation services for Spanish speaking families and more recently even helping transport bookshelves for families that do not have transportation.
“I think what amazes me most is the children’s reactions to their shopping experiences, they can’t believe they can select 8-12 new and gently used books of their very own to take home. It is not uncommon for us to hear, ‘Free, for me?’”
New over the past two years is outreach to the Young Parents Programs offered in Mountain View and Sunnyvale with a community partner of ours. Through these outreaches, RPM has the opportunity to provide resources to teen moms in the community and their babies, reaching two generations at one time.
Through the Bookshelf in Every Home Project and other strategic outreaches, Pires estimates RPM has given away more than 4,500 books this year.
“We are planning to gift another 200-plus books at our largest outreach of the year, our seventh annual Christmas Posada – a collaborative Christmas outreach event with partners from various churches, local non-profits and community members.”
The event activities include Santa visits and pictures with the families, a petting zoo, dance recital, gift books and piñatas.
This year’s gift books are being sponsored by the King’s Academy of Sunnyvale.
“From selecting the books, to raising funds for the books, to wrapping them and distributing them, their National Junior Honor Society students are paving the way to bless underserved kids in the community with the gift of literacy,” Pires said. “A true model of servant leadership.”
• Why the Holiday Fund is needed: Donations support RPM’s programs, enabling participants to grow into teen leaders and their parents to be drawn into programming, under RPM’s philosophy that children thrive when the entire family receives support.
Reach Potential Movement
Location: Gateway Neighborhood Center, 477 N. Mathilda Ave., Sunnyvale
Annual budget: $225,000
Staff: 1 full-time, 5 part-time employees