At the East Scarborough Storefront, we understand that when residents are supported to address the community challenges that are important to them, they play a crucial role in building the communities that they want to be a part of. In today’s Black History Month post, we highlight Camesha Cox, founder of The Reading Partnership, and a long-time resident leader who has been committed to promoting and advocating for literacy in the community of East Scarborough.
Camesha began her connection with the Storefront as a staff member with Tropicana Community Services, connecting youth to jobs in the community. From there, she connected with the Neighbourhood Trust, a “collaborative project led by the Storefront to build local infrastructure and support the use of microgranting to strengthen social cohesion in East Scarborough.” Through Neighbourhood Trust, Camesha expanded on her passion project of improving literacy in KGO by connecting with resources, mentorship and capacity building provided by the Storefront, such as learning how to develop volunteer programs and run successful events.
The Reading Partnership is a non-profit organization that provides resources to families to support their children develop literacy skills. They also advocate for the importance of early literacy in East Scarborough, addressing the connection between early literacy and life-long success. Resident leaders, like Camesha, can understand and address the nuances and complexities of their neighbourhood challenges because of their deep connections to the community and experience. That’s why The Storefront strives to support the expertise of resident leaders in working towards and achieving their individual and collective goals; Camesha and her work with the Reading Partnership are an incredible example of what can happen when resident leaders guide the way to address complex community challenges in ways that are important to them.
Today, The Reading Partnership provides programming that:
- guides parents through the process of teaching their children to read, and provides specific programming for Black families
- gives kids 9-12 the tools and support to tell their own stories
- supports a virtual weekly book club led by expert facilitators
- Promotes the integration of literacy and healthy eating into daily habits