Demar walks into a large classroom around the corner from the gymnasium at the Welcome All Recreation Center in South Fulton. As he cracks the door open, the smell of fresh pizza wafts through the air, and he sees a stack of books at table next to the food.  

He comes up to the Welcome All Rec Center just about every day. And he spends most of the evenings there with his friends practicing basketball and waiting for his parents to arrive home from work to take him back to his house.  

Demar goes to an elementary school just up the road. He spends some part of every day at the rec center. But today he wanted to stop by this classroom — he came for the pizza, but he grabbed a handful of books with his other hand and made his way to a table.  

The literacy program is held at Welcome All, but it’s hosted by Atlanta CARES, a nonprofit that partners with United Way of Greater Atlanta’s African-American Partnership to offer its literacy program at multiple locations across the South Fulton area. 

Brenda Coleman is the executive director of Atlanta CARES, and she says she chose this location for the literacy program because the rec center was reported previously by United Way to be in a zip code with a low child well-being score.  

The grant funds provided by AAP give students at Welcome All, and across Greater Atlanta, access to new reading, writing and other learning materials.  

AAP launched June 2000 under the African-American Initiative moniker by Conchita Robinson and Charles Stephens with the purpose of increasing financial participation and volunteers from our community.  

AAP is open to donors with shared affinities for philanthropy, leadership and service, and members of AAP donate $1,000 a year or more to United Way of Greater Atlanta. 

The program Atlanta CARES provides gains new students every day. By just getting them in the doors, they open up a world of opportunities for these students. You can help provide access and materials to students like Demar. You can help kids like him reach their full potential.  

Don’t you want to be a part of that change?  

Join AAP today to help more kids like Demar. Email aap@unitedwayatlanta.org to learn more.   

Khemari likes to come to the Welcome All Recreation Center during the week. In fact, most of his time outside of school is spent there — he’s there a lot after school. 

Khemari loves sports. But this isn’t his season yet — he’s more of a baseball guy. He’s also “more of a math guy,” but today he’s joining the reading program at Welcome All.  

Khemari reads a lot at school, but after school he doesn’t get as much time to, which makes access to a program like the one offered by Atlanta CARES so important.   

Khemari attended the literacy program at Welcome All, which is hosted by Atlanta CARES. The program is funded by United Way of Greater Atlanta’s African-American Partnership, and it is held at a number of other locations across Greater Atlanta’s 13 counties.  

Brenda Coleman is the executive director of Atlanta CARES, a nonprofit that partners with United Way of Greater Atlanta’s African-American Partnership to offer its literacy program at multiple locations across the South Fulton area. Coleman says she picked Welcome All specifically because United Way reported that this was an area of low child well-being in Greater Atlanta.  

AAP launched June 2000 under the African-American Initiative moniker by Conchita Robinson and Charles Stephens with the purpose of increasing financial participation and volunteers from our community.  

AAP is open to donors with shared affinities for philanthropy, leadership and service, and members of AAP donate $1,000 a year or more to United Way of Greater Atlanta. 

Khemari likes to read a bit of everything he can get his hands on. He says he’s into “all types of stuff” — he likes “chapter books,” biographies and historical fiction stories. All of it.  

AAP helps give students like Khemari access to “all types” of materials. A donation to AAP is a donation to Khemari and a commitment to impacting more lives in Greater Atlanta just like him.  

Don’t you want to be a part of that impact?  

You can find out how by joining AAP today. Email AAP@unitedwayatlanta.org to learn more about the group and how to join. 

Nikia jokes that he first came to the reading club at Welcome All Recreation Center just for the pizza.  

The teenager comes to the rec center most days during the fall for basketball practice. But one day on the court his coach told him he should check out the program in one of the adjacent classrooms.  

“I found out about this [literacy program], and we came in and Mrs. [Brenda] Coleman greeted us and taught us all about it,” Nikia says. “I came for the pizza, but once we started reading and writing I stayed. I like reading a lot.”  

Coleman is the executive director of Atlanta CARES, a nonprofit that partners with United Way of Greater Atlanta’s African-American Partnership to offer its literacy program at multiple locations across the South Fulton area. Coleman says she picked Welcome All specifically because United Way reported that this was an area of low child well-being in Greater Atlanta.  

The grant funds give students at Welcome All access to new reading, writing and other learning materials.  

AAP launched June 2000 under the AfricanAmerican Initiative moniker by Conchita Robinson and Charles Stephens with the purpose of increasing financial participation and volunteers from our community.  

AAP is open to donors with shared affinities for philanthropy, leadership and service, and members of AAP donate $1,000 a year or more to United Way of Greater Atlanta. 

“I really liked the characters in the books we were reading,” Nikia says, leaning back in his chair and crossing his arms across the letters of his Georgia Tech sweatshirt. “I felt like the characters reminded me of myself.” 

Nikia wants to continue to get better at reading and writing. He says while he likes writing, he’s got problems right now dealing with the critique of his writing — that’s because he wants “to be the best at everything” he does. 

By giving to AAP, you can help other teenagers like Nikia reach their full potential and be the best they can be at everything they do.  

Join AAP today to help other kids like NikiaEmail aap@unitedwayatlanta.org to learn more.  

DeMorris doesn’t “love” to read — he knows it’s important, though. He knows that it’ll help him punch his ticket to college.  

He was encouraged to get involved in a reading program at The Villages at Carver YMCA by Bilal Blake who helps teach other teens like DeMorris classes in reading, writing and STEM.  

“I do most of my reading at school,” DeMorris says, sliding the strap of his backpack off of his shoulders and onto the floor. “But I do really like math, and I want to go to college. I don’t know what I want to do yet, but I’ve been meeting with colleges, and I had a college interview yesterday.”  

For the past three years, DeMorris has been walking to Carver YMCA, playing basketball, swimming and participating in a number of other things. But now he’s started reading more. That’s because of this reading program.  

The high school student participates in the literacy program that’s held at Carver Family YMCA. There are about 15 other kids in the program with him, too. He says he really didn’t even know them until he started the class, either.  

But now they’ve become his friends. DeMorris gets exposure to the reading program and all kinds of books, STEM materials and regular meetings to discuss college and careers thanks to United Way of Greater Atlanta’s African-American Partnership.  

The grant money given to Carver YMCA helps improve reading, writing and critical thinking skills for students like DeMorris 

AAP launched June 2000 under the African American Initiative moniker by Conchita Robinson and Charles Stephens with the purpose of increasing financial participation and volunteers from our community.  

AAP is open to donors with shared affinities for philanthropy, leadership and service, and members of AAP donate $1,000 a year or more to United Way of Greater Atlanta. 

A gift to AAP helps students like DeMorris. You can have a direct impact in this neighborhood. There’s so much potential to change so many lives across Greater Atlanta. Do you want to be a part of that change?  

Join AAP today to help others like DeMorris. Email aap@unitedwayatlanta.org to learn more. 

Rashaud says he wants to be a rapper when he grows up.  

But a rapper needs a firm grasp on the English language. A rapper needs rhythm and flow. He knows that.  

That’s why he loves reading poems. The timbre and meter of those poems help him as he works on raps of his own.  

The middle-school student has been coming to The Villages at Carver YMCA for a while now, but a couple of months ago he started getting involved in the literacy program.   

Rashaud reads each day from 30 minutes to an hour, he says. When he goes home his grandmother makes him sit at the table and read, as well.  

“I like to read,” Rashaud says. “My grand-momma makes me read newspapers.”  

Rashaud participates each Thursday in the reading program that’s held at Carver Family YMCA. Rashaud gets exposure to the program and all kinds of booksSTEM materials and regular meetings to discuss possible careers, like a career in music, thanks to United Way of Greater Atlanta’s African-American Partnership.  

The grant money given to Carver helps improve reading, writing and critical thinking skills for students like Rashaud 

AAP launched June 2000 under the African American Initiative moniker by Conchita Robinson and Charles Stephens with the purpose of increasing financial participation and volunteers from our community.  

AAP is open to donors with shared affinities for philanthropy, leadership and service, and members of AAP donate $1,000 a year or more to United Way of Greater Atlanta. 

You can help open up a world of possibilities to students like Rashaud by giving to programs like AAP. Your donations directly impact students like him in your neighborhood. Do you want to be a part of that change and that impact?  

To help other kids like Rashaud, join AAP and emaiaap@unitedwayatlanta.org to learn more.  

Jamari is a quiet kid.  

He says he doesn’t read much outside of school. That makes his time at The Villages at Carver Family YMCA even more crucial.  

Jamari’s tall with broad shoulders, and that size has helped him play basketball and Rugby against his friendsHe’s been coming to Carver Family YMCA a couple times a weekand he has a ton of friends at Carver. A few months ago, those friends pulled him into a classroom for book club.  

The quiet kid, more interested in spending time on the court or in the pool, says the time he’s spent reading at the YMCA has opened him up to reading more than any class at school has. It’s something he’s starting to look forward to now 

“We read comic books, and I love the illustrations and all of the stories, too,” Jamari says. “I really like reading fiction books now.”  

Jamari participates each Thursday in the reading program through his school that’s held at Carver Family YMCA. Jamari gets exposure to the program and all kinds of books and STEM materials thanks to United Way of Greater Atlanta’s African-American Partnership.  

The grant money given to Carver helps improve reading, writing and critical thinking skills for students like Jamari.  

AAP launched June 2000 under the African American Initiative moniker by Conchita Robinson and Charles Stephens with the purpose of increasing financial participation and volunteers from our community.  

AAP is open to donors with shared affinities for philanthropy, leadership and service, and members of AAP donate $1,000 a year or more to United Way of Greater Atlanta. 

Jamari now has another thing that helps him get engaged with his school work and his friends outside of sports. It’s something that has helped him open up. A donation to AAP has helped give him that. It’s helped change him.   

Don’t you want to continue to be a part of that change? 

To help other kids like Jamari, join AAP and email aap@unitedwayatlanta.org for more. 

“I probably read at least two hours a day,” Jayden says. “[His parents] they try to make me do it, but I like reading sports books and comic books and all sorts of things like that.”  

Jayden loves to read, but a lot of his times at the Villages at Carver Family YMCA were spent outside of the classroom areas and inside the gym — until about two years ago, that is. Jayden loves to play football and basketball — he was a skater, too, when he was younger. He keeps his Vans sneakers clean and color-coordinated with his royal blue T-shirt.  

Jayden loves to read, but about two years ago he had an opportunity to expand on that love of reading.  

“I started coming here,” Jayden says. “I liked reading, and I’ll start as soon as I get home.”  

Jayden has participated in the reading program through his school that was held at Carver Family YMCA. Jayden’s exposure to the program and countless other books was made possible by United Way of Greater Atlanta’s African-American Partnership.  

The grant money given to Carver Family YMCA, helps students like Jayden read, write and participate in STEM activities too. 

AAP launched June 2000 under the African American Initiative moniker by Conchita Robinson and Charles Stephens with the purpose of increasing financial participation and volunteers from our community.  

AAP is open to donors with shared affinities for philanthropy, leadership and service, and members of AAP donate $1,000 a year or more to United Way of Greater Atlanta. 

“I like to get into the books and get deep into the good parts,” Jayden says. “I like to read and when a book surprises me and doesn’t end like I thought it would.”  

The program at Carver has definitely helped Jayden. Think about the impact you can help make on others like him.  

To find out how, email aap@unitedwayatlanta.org. Join AAP today and help other kids in this community.  

De’Marco shifts his weight to the front of his chair and slings the hood of his heavy coat over the top of his head, pulling down on the corners of a green beanie.  

De’Marcos a middle school student in Atlanta, and he’s a regular at The Villages at Carver Family YMCA. He’s been coming to that location for nearly four years now, but a couple of months ago, he got involved in a reading program that was held at Carver Family YMCA.  

De’Marco used to love coming to the YMCA to play basketball, hang out with his friends and “go to the vending machine,” he says with a laugh. But now he’s got another reason to come.  

For about an hour or so each Thursday, De’Marco gets to read with his friends other stories that interest him — he’s been developing a story of his own with a couple of his classmates, as well. 

“We’re gonna be able to write our own books sooner or later,” De’Marco says. He’s really looking forward to that.  

This program is made possible by United Way of Greater Atlanta’s African-American Partnership. The grant money given to Carver Family YMCA, helps students like De’Marco read, write and participate in STEM activities too.  

AAP launched June 2000 under the African American Initiative moniker by Conchita Robinson and Charles Stephens with the purpose of increasing financial participation and volunteers from our community 

AAP is open to donors with shared affinities for philanthropy, leadership and service, and members of AAP donate $1,000 a year or more to United Way of Greater Atlanta. 

De’Marco’s thankful for this outlet to tell his own story.  

“We get to write stories about what’s going on at school and what we’re going through,” De’Marco says. “I like it a lot. It’s joyful.”  

That’s what your gift to AAP can do.  

You can help more kids like De’Marco. Join AAP, and email aap@unitedwayatlanta.org to learn more.  

Joshua is a middle-school student in Atlanta.  

An after-school program at the Welcome All Recreation Center, which is hosted by Atlanta CARES, helped Joshua develop stronger reading, writing and comprehension skills, Executive Director of Atlanta CARES Brenda Coleman says.  

“Joshua has shown great enthusiasm about reading… sports-related books,” Coleman says. “While perusing all of the books available for him to read, he said, ‘I can’t believe we have all these books about our people. It’s so hard to choose one.”  

AAP Build-A-Library participantUnited Way of Greater Atlanta’s African-American Partnership helped open up a world of books for Joshua. It gave him a chance to see the contributions others like him have given their community. It’s a moment like this that makes your donation of time and money worth it.  

Atlanta CARES partnered with the Welcome All Recreation Center to bring in a literacy program using books provided through AAP’s “Powering the Potential” grant 

AAP is a United Way of Greater Atlanta affinity group, and they help provide books and other learning materials for Atlanta CARES and other locations across Greater Atlanta  

AAP launched June 2000 under the African American Initiative moniker by Conchita Robinson and Charles Stephens with the purpose of increasing financial participation and volunteers from our community — there was also this real desire to make United Way’s donor base more reflective of the demographics in Atlanta where they serve. 

AAP is open to donors with shared affinities for philanthropy, leadership and service, and members of AAP donate $1,000 a year or more to United Way of Greater Atlanta.  

Your funds go directly back into this community and power potential in young black men across Greater Atlanta. 

Coleman says Joshua loves his “literacy parties” with his friends where he can eat pizza and talk about books he’s read. 

“The Powering the Potential program is beneficial to Joshua and the other students because it provides a platform for them to improve their word attack skills, comprehension skills, writing skills and speaking skills,” Coleman says. “Most importantly, it has enhanced their joy of reading.” 

To help other young men in Atlanta enhance their joy of reading, join the African-American Partnership today. Email AAP@unitedwayatlanta.org to learn more. 

Antonio had “some hiccups” toward the end of 2018, but he wasn’t going to let these missteps define him. 

The teenager has been involved with Raising Expectations Inc. (RE) for the past two years, says Tangee Allen, executive director of Raising Expectations. RE teamed up with United Way of Greater Atlanta’s African-American Partnership to help others in Greater Atlanta like Antonio.   

AAP helped provide books and other learning materials for different locations across Greater Atlanta through the Build-A-Library program. APP celebrates its 20th anniversary this year with its fifth-annual Leadership Luncheon on Feb. 29, 2020.  

The partnership launched June 2000 under the African American Initiative moniker by Conchita Robinson and Charles Stephens with the purpose of increasing financial participation and volunteers from our community  

AAP is open to donors with shared affinities for philanthropy, leadership and service, and members of AAP donate $1,000 a year or more to United Way of Greater Atlanta.  

Through RE’s program, Antonio wrote a book he called, “It was sooo easy,” and Allen says this became a catalyst in his life. 

Antonio got to see a book he created from start to finish. It encouraged him at school and he excelled academically because of that. Antonio has begun to “reclaim his narrative,” Allen says. In January, Antonio became a junior mentor to RE’s fourth-grade students.  

You can help other students like Antonio find their narrative, find their passion and it doesn’t take much to help make a drastic change in this community.  

In fact, it’s “sooo easy.”  

You can help other students like Antonio by joining the African-American Partnership today. Email AAP@unitedwayatlanta.org to learn more.