She’ll call it Jayden’s House, and it will have everything from after school tutoring and arts and crafts, to a “resource department” set up to help families with various needs.
This is the vision that Dawn Reed, the President and Founder of the organization Jayden’s House, has expressed for a youth/community center she wants to establish in one of New Haven’s most impoverished neighborhoods. It may take a long time to lay the groundwork for that initiative, so for now, she wants to show the city how it will work.
This Sunday, Jayden’s House and Stars in the Making-an organization co-sponsoring the event-will hold Care for Kids Youth Day on the New Haven Green. They’re bringing games, clowns, arts and crafts, and-she hopes-Mayor Toni Harp. The goal: to get gets active, involved, and inspired, Reed says.
“This is to demonstrate all of the things you’ll be able to do in a community house,” Reed said over the phone. “We’ll have resources for the kids.”
The event, which runs from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., will feature emergency safety lessons from American Medical Response, (AMR) as well as a kickball and wiffle ball game. The event is free and open to all kids, Reed says.
It’s something that she hopes to hold annually in order to raise awareness regarding her community house vision. She’ll add other events throughout the year in that effort, she says.
“It’s a matter of getting some funding available, and getting some people who will sponsor us,” Reed says.
She says she has a few locations in mind, but wants to focus on neighborhoods like Newhallville, which she feels have the greatest need.
“I want to see it in the areas of greatest need so we can make some changes,” Reed says. “On a community-level, many kids can benefit. It’s imperative to give our kids outlets to help them become better, more productive individuals.”
Jayden’s House, Inc. is an organization that focuses on issues pertaining to window safety. It was named after Reed’s nephew, who was lost his life five years ago at the age of 2 due to a window-related accident. Stars in the Making is a mentoring program for girls ages 12 to 17.
Reed said that the event is still seeking volunteers and sponsors, and that those interested in participating can reach her at 203-909-1270. Donations can be mailed to Dawn Reed/ Jayden’s House Inc, P.O. Box 4394, at 41 Wigwam Ave in Waterbury, CT 06704.