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I just wanted to add a personal note, Lisa, about how I am 100% behind your reading program, regardless of this grant proposal.  You focus on an urban area, but I live near a Native American reservation where pre-schoolers rarely get to sit in someone's lap and look at a book or be read to.  This has a dramatic impact when these children enter kindergarten, and the teachers can tell the difference between students who have been exposed to books prior to kindergarten and those who have not.  This model can apply across our nation, although rural areas will have a more difficult time identifying a place and time for volunteers to read aloud to a group of pre-schoolers.  Good luck and keep up the good work!

I agree with Maud Schaafsma below that this proposal may not be the right fit for this grant.  However, I applaud your project's mission and success so far.  Teaching youth self-reliance is so important and has been missing from our society the past thirty years.  Involving youth in community development is also an important, but fairly recent, method to build a sense of well-being and connection to where one lives.  Good luck!

On a personal note, I am very much interested in seeing meditation and/or mindfulness brought into elementary education to teach these important skills to children while they are young.  I believe they are coping mechanisms that can be used throughout their life span to combat bullying, social pressures, family pressures, etc.  I also believe that some children will simply not learn using traditional classroom techniques, and they are at risk of being labeled "dumb" or "difficult" instead of unique.   I think if you can give more details on how your curriculum will actually look - for those of us unfamiliar with homeschooling curricula - it would greatly benefit your proposal.