Young readers have a special place in my heart and I want to get more young people excited about reading. In a world in which our conversations consist of 140 characters and we can have access to any information within seconds, reading couldn’t be more important. Another passion I have is providing those same young people with a safe and fun place to come together and be part of something.
In my mission to provide and promote those two exact things I have come up with The YA Cafe Project. I want to open a cafe and book store geared toward young people in my town. There are no other places like it here and there are only one or two places in for those younger crowds to congregate off the streets and safely. I want it to be a warm and inviting place that is more like a home than a corporate ran store. I also want to open it up for local bands and artists to perform and display their work.
When I was young we had a small, locally owned coffee shop where my friends and I would hang out for hours and keep out of trouble. Many memories were forged in that small corner coffee shop and we still talk about it to this day. We refer to our generation as the “coffee shop” kids, because you can tell who we are, we were all creative and bright young people with a place to call our own. College students worked there and creativity and individualism was encouraged. Unfortunately, there was a kitchen fire about ten or more years ago and the owner chose not to open back up and we have never had another place like it since. And that was the last venue for local bands except for the local bar (high school and college kids aren’t 21) which has also closed down.
We have one small locally owned coffee shop that is ran by a local church. There is nothing wrong with this, but not everyone is comfortable being open and spending lots of free time in a church owned establishment. Other than that we have a Starbucks and a Hastings (kind of like a Blockbuster but with books and a cafe too). As far as book stores we have Hastings and two used book stores that tend to carry more harlequin romance novels than anything else. We have a 6a high school, a major university, and 5 surrounding area high schools. I think we need to pay more attention to our young people!
So, with all that being said, my project is up on Kick Starter and I ask for anyone interested to pop on over there and check it out! Share this with anyone you think may be interested in helping. Miracles can happen! Thank you for taking the time to read about my mission!