Reading for Life

Laura Baker has been the Executive Director of Reading for Life since October 2014, coming to RFL from the non-profit sector, most recently working as a Development Director in St. Joseph County, Indiana. Laura has been a member of the Michiana community for 12 years and has close ties with the area, especially as a Notre Dame alumni.

How Reading For Life works is in small groups with trained mentors, youth meet to read and discuss novels, journal, and reflecton personal life applications. Mentors guide the conversations around the classic virtues espoused by Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas, and through the stories youth find new perspectives, build empathy, and begin to change their life trajectories. Reading for Life combats recidivism by giving kids the character tools they need to build better lives, and 97% of RFL graduates have no further re-offense.

Reading for Life Inc. was awarded the Klau Family Award for Greatest Social Impact in the 2013-2014 McCloskey Competition.  The presenting team included Alesha Seroczynski, Amy Jobst, and Notre Dame undergraduate students Mara Stolee and Tommy Flaim. This award helped Reading for Life to develop the curriculum and infrastructure necessary to begin franchising the Reading for Life model to justice centers and youth-serving organizations around the country. Reading for Life Inc. hopes to become one of the leading programs for at-risk youth and aspires to have 30 partner sites in the next five years.

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