About Us

Our Mission

“Levra Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to enriching the well-being of children and youth by creating active connections to balance technology and human connection through early child literacy, youth empowerment and employment”

Our Vision

“A world where all children and youth are enriched so that they can live a life of great possibilities while contributing to the common good.”

We are focused on prevention to build the right foundation

70%

of inmates in prison cannot read beyond grade 4 level.

2/3

of children who cannot read proficiently by grade 4 will end up in jail or welfare.

130%

of mentored youths will likely hold a leadership position

46%

of mentored youths are less likely to use drugs

Creating social relationships is critical to human well-being. It is argued that experiencing social behaviour, and engaging in social interaction, is vital during childhood development. However, many children, for many reasons, are not able to participate in, or experience, the social behaviour that is crucial for their well-being, mental health, and development. Many studies show that the absence of social relationships and behaviours have been shown to affect child development in many ways.

With the advancement of technology, study shows that as a society we are becoming less socially engaged. Children are becoming more drawn to technology and social interaction is declining at a significant rate. At Levra Foundation, we foster social interaction through literacy and youth empowerment.

 

Books without Borders

Reading is a gateway to knowledge. There is a wealth of research supporting the benefits of daily reading with children. It improves brain development, listening skills, builds early literacy skills, strengthens reading ability through practice, improves academic performance and improves relationships.  Overall, reading to a child just 20 minutes a day gives that child an investment for a lifetime!

Starting from kindergarten, if a child reads 20 minutes a day at home, they will hear 1.8 million words per year.  They will have read for 851 hours by 6th grade and on standardized tests, they will likely score better than 90% of their peers.

Here’s an interesting data showing the impact of reading 20 minutes a day:

 

Reading helps with brain development

Our brains develop as we “feed” them with experiences. The experience of reading (whether you’re the reader or the one being read to) activates and “exercises” many of the areas of the brain. A recent study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics found reading to children of any age awakens a number of regions in the left part of the brain where the most basic impact occurs in the area associated with language reception. Reading snaps the neurons to attention as they start the work of transmitting all that information. The very nature of reading encourages the brain to work harder and better.

Strengthens family relationships

There is nothing quite like reading together as a family. Reading time is a crucial part of developing family relationships. A regular reading routine — like reading together for 20 minutes every day or always sharing a bedtime story — can help establish a consistent parent-child bonding time. Children will learn to associate reading to the warm, cozy feeling of togetherness with family creating wonderful memories.

Reading helps in language development

Speech and language lessons start in the uterus and continue from the time the child is born. Daily reading will help the brain make connections between the written and spoken word, consistently improving their vocabulary in the process. Reading not only increases exposure to language but helps children discover their love of language.

Reading improves listening skills

The experience of being read to helps children develop good listening skills by keying them into the components of language. There are 4 skills that go hand in hand: reading; listening, speaking and writing. Because these skills are interrelated, daily reading helps improve all skills including listening.

Reading helps understand the world

Reading helps students make sense of the world around them and develop the skills they need to navigate reality. Reading is more than just translating written words into verbal form; it is about understanding those words. It is about realizing those words/ideas which can be connected to their personal experiences. Reading will help children understand and prepare them to explore the complex world around them.

Reading teaches empathy

Researchers at The New School in New York City have found evidence that literary fiction improves a reader’s capacity to understand what others are thinking and feeling. Studies show that reading can help kids build developmental skills of emotional intelligence and empathy, enabling young readers to better connect with other perspectives and human experiences.

 

Youth Mentorship

Mentoring creates a positive impact on the youth’s lives. Mentoring provides a lot of benefits to youth to prepare them to navigate the complexities of the real world. Mentoring changes the course of young lives, and in turn, changes the future of communities to help create a better society in which more children, youth and adults can work, play, participate and thrive.

With 1.8 billion youth today, the largest global population of youth in history, we believe that we can help shape the future by helping our youth achieve their full potential. At Levra Foundation, we believe that are committed to guiding the youth as they transition to an exciting step in their lives.

Benefits for youth:

  • Increased high school graduation rates
  • Lower high school dropout rates
  • Healthier relationships and lifestyle choices
  • Better attitude about school
  • Higher college enrollment rates and higher educational aspirations
  • Enhanced self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Improved behavior, both at home and at school
  • Stronger relationships with parents, teachers, and peers
  • Improved interpersonal skills
  • Decreased likelihood of initiating drug and alcohol use (MENTOR, 2009; Cavell, DuBois, Karcher, Keller, & Rhodes, 2009)

 

 

Bibliography

  1. Doane, L. D & Adam, E. K. (2010). Loneliness and cortisol: Momentary, day-to-day, and trait associations. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 35, 430 – 441.
  2. Lacey, R. E., Kumari, M. & Bartley, M. (2014). Social isolation in childhood and adult inflammation: Evidence from the National Child Development Study. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 50, 85 – 94.
  3. Makinodan, M., Rosen, K. M., Ito, S. and Corfas, G. (2012). A Critical Period for Social Experience–Dependent Oligodendrocyte Maturation and Myelination. Science, 337(6100), 1357 – 1360
  4. Martin, G. N., Carlson, N. R. & Buskist, W. (2009). Psychology, 4th ed. Allyn & Bacon
  5. S. J. Ritchie and T. C. Bates, “Enduring Links from Childhood Mathematics and Reading Achievement to Adult Socioeconomic Status,” Psychological Science 247 (July 2013): 1301-1308.
  6. Mar et al., “Effects of Reading on Knowledge, Social Abilities and Selfhood.”