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.  

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.