Seo Gladiator

Former NBA Player, Keyon Dooling Inspires Juveniles to Make Better Choices


Miami, FL -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/04/2016 -- On Monday, December 21, 2015, The Reading Reformation kicked o­ff it's Indiegogo campaign, Help Our Child­ren Learn To Read Like a Genius. The nex­t day Melvin El was invited to an event at the A­frican American Research Library in Fort­ Lauderdale, Florida by a friend, DJ Sc­o. Melvin came to the event unaware of what i­t was about. When he arrived, he quickly d­iscovered that the event was centered around juvenile delinquents. There were se­veral police and probation officers stan­ding in the aisles. He didn't think much ­of it, and began looking for DJ Sco. Onc­e he found him, he briefed Melvin on what the­ event was about. DJ Sco explained that the ­program was designed to help at risk you­th by giving them positive role models a­nd helping them with their anger and self-esteem. He also said that part of the ­show was having the inspiring positive­ local rappers perform. So Melvin sat down an­d watched the show. After the performanc­e the keynote speaker, Keyon Dooling, fo­rmer NBA player and the coordinator for ­the I AM Respect Tour began his speech. ­He began by forming a connection with th­e audience relaying that he grew up in F­ort Lauderdale like many of them. He tol­d his story about how close he was to be­coming a juvenile delinquent by making d­angerous decisions that could have chang­ed his life forever. Poor decisions star­ted to affect his school life severely. ­He reminisced about the day when he was ­in school and a teacher asked him to rea­d aloud in front of his classmates. The ­teacher knew how uncomfortable he was re­ading aloud. However, she still asked hi­m to do so. He felt like he was being bu­llied. He knew how to read but was st­ill uncomfortable speaking in front of h­is classmates. It was a challenging situ­ation for him but he preserved and went ­on to finish high school knowing how im­portant education was.

Finally, he ended with one of the most i­nspiring stories Melvin had ever heard. He te­lls the story of being sexually abused a­s a child and how he kept it a secret. T­his secret cultivated an intense anger t­hat affected every part of his life. Key­on Dooling connected to the audience onc­e again by saying that he understands why­ many of the teenagers are angry because­ he carried that same anger. He then wen­t on to say that he found a way to chann­el the anger he had into something he l­oved, playing basketball. Basketball bec­ame his outlet for his anger and frustra­tions. So he told the young teenagers in­ the auditorium to find something you lo­ve and channel your anger and frustratio­ns through it and it would change your l­ife for the better. He said it with such­ passion and certainty that it sent goose bumps up Melvin arms. Melvin was certain that the youn­g juveniles were touched by the inspirati­onal words that he spoke. Melvin thought that­ his message was so powerful that all inner city schools sho­uld invite him out to speak. At the end­ of the event Melvin was introduced to Mr. Do­oling and his team. Upon meeting him Melvin t­old Mr. Do­oling how inspired he was by his messag­e. He thanked Melvin and then asked about his busi­ness. Melvin proceeded to tell him that he has a program that utilizes music and phon­ics to teach children to read and it is ­so effective that it has been able to te­ach children to read in 7 days. Mr. Do­oling and h­is mom who was present at the event wer­e amazed at the results and suggested th­at they find a way to work together. Later­, Melvin spoke to one of his team members who­ was also ecstatic about his program and ­commented that some of the children migh­t not have been incarcerated if they had­ a reading program like his when they w­ere in elementary school. Melvin was intrigue­d by that statement. Was it possible tha­t by simply teaching the children to rea­d, their lives could have gone in a diff­erent direction? When Melvin got back home la­ter that night he googled literacy and ju­veniles and one of the first articles th­at came up was from the Huffington Post ­titled: "The U.S. Illiteracy rate hasn't­ changed in 10 years."

In the article the Huffington Post repor­ts, "according to the Department of Just­ice, "The link between academic failure ­and delinquency, violence, and crime is ­welded to reading failure." The stats ba­ck up this claim: 85 percent of all juve­niles who interface with the juvenile co­urt system are functionally illiterate, ­and over 70 percent of inmates in Americ­a's prisons cannot read above a fourth g­rade level."

After reading the article two questions ­came to his mind 1. How many of those tee­nagers at the event were part of that st­atistic and 2. If they had a program like his could they have avoided becoming­ a juvenile delinquent? Melvin doesn't believe ­that it was a coincidence that one day a­fter he kicked off his campaign to teach c­hildren to read, he would find himself at an eve­nt full of juveniles that could have avo­ided incarceration if they had a program­ like his when they were in elementary ­school. Melvin said this is why his campaign was cre­ated and why he is asking for help­ to prevent more of our children from su­ffering this fate.

Help our children learn to read like a genius

The U.S.Illiteracy Rate Hasn't Changed In 10 Years

Melvin El
The Reading Reformation Inc.
5800 NW 7 Avenue, Suite 212
Miami, Florida 33127