National CARES Mentoring Movement

March 12, 2012 by staff 

National CARES Mentoring Movement, The day Susan Taylor learned that 80 percent of African-American fourth graders were reading below grade level was the day the former editor-in-chief began planning her exit from Essence magazine.

Brad Barket, PictureGroup via AP National CARES Mentoring Movement Susan Taylor attends BET Networks Presents Leading Women Defined, Dorothy Height Luncheon, at the Four Seasons Georgetown, March 15, 2011 in Washington, DC.

Some five years later, in 2005 , Taylor had an answer: Mentoring and more specifically, the National CARES Mentoring Movement, the organization she founded in 2006 in response to the crisis. Today, CARES has some 60 chapter affiliates across the country, including here in Atlanta.

“The time, energy and support we dedicate today to the nation’s struggling youngsters will dictate the tomorrows we create for all of our children, our communities and country,” she said.

It’s a message Taylor has been touting for years now and will bring to Atlanta March 15, when she and comedian, radio talk show host and author Steve Harvey lead a town hall discussion at Morehouse College on educating black youth.

The event, sponsored by General Mills as part of its “Box Tops for Education” program, is slated to begin at 7 p.m. in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel. It is free with advance registration at Special guest will include, among others, Spelman College President Beverly Tatum and actress Tisha Campbell-Martin.

The goal is to start a conversation about the importance of a strong primary education in the lives of children and the impact mentoring can have on both children and their education.

With a fast-growing number of children falling below the poverty line, Taylor said America has no choice but to develop innovative strategies to secure their future.

“This is more than our challenge,” Taylor said. “It is more than our mission. It is our mandate.”

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