Shonn Brown is right at home in a court room. But put her in an alley and she knows the gutter all too well. Whoa! Before going too far, the alley mentioned is a bowling alley.
Still despite not scoring a “turkey” let alone 300, Shonn is joining her husband Clarence Brown in co-chairing the Lanes 2 Literacy on Thursday, April 5, benefiting Readers 2 Leaders at Bowl and Barrel at The Shops at Park Lane.
BTW, the reason for their involvement is Clarence is on the board of Readers 2 Leaders.
Well known in fundraising circles for such nonprofits as Dallas Women’s Foundation, Dallas CASA and Dallas Museum of Art, Shonn admitted she’s taking a backseat to Clarence’s involvement. “I’m usually dragging him to events, so I’m sorta glad to be in this position.”
Readers 2 Leaders may be new on the fundraising radar, but it was the brainchild of Ted Schweinfurth, who started “working in West Dallas as a youth mentor, coach and community volunteer.” Over the next five years, he became aware of the educational challenges facing the children of West Dallas. It was discovered that
- 53% of West Dallas residents over 25 never completed high school
- 6% of West Dallas residents have a bachelor’s degree
- 65% of incoming high school freshmen drop out
- 83% of all students are classified as economically disadvantaged
It was in 2010 that he started networking with parents, teachers, pastors, business and nonprofit leaders to come up with a solution. By the end of the year Readers 2 Leaders (R2L) was formed. Ted got in his car and drove around until he found a space for a family literacy center in Lakewest Town Center. In September 2011 Booktown officially opened for business with “one teacher and a group of committed volunteers.” Within five years, “more than 400 children” were annually receiving “high-quality, high-dosage literacy instruction in In-School, After School and Summer Camp programs.”
Today R2L has grown to have five trained education professionals and more than 200 volunteer reading buddies plus a six-week summer camp that in 2017 resulted in 94% of R2L campers not experiencing the infamous summer slide.
To support R2L’s efforts in helping “West Dallas kids reach grade level in reading,” the 2018 Lanes 2 Literacy is nearing a sold-out status thanks to the venue, the food, the raffle (Weekend in West Dallas, a Michele Deco Diamond Bracelet Watch and a personalized cornhole from Richardson Boards).
Oh, and about Bowl and Barrel. If you’re thinking yucky bowling shoes, gum stuck on the bottom of tables and stale popcorn, rethink that one. Bowl and Barrel is “Dallas’ first upscale bowling alley” with fifteen world-class bowling lanes, full service modern American tavern, and one-of-a-kind beer hall.” Laverne and Shirley would just die to score a strike here.
Sponsorships are still available, but tickets are getting scarce, so stop reading and contact Audrey White.
* Photo credit: Holly Kuper