The YRI is focusing on its literacy programs for the greater New Orleans youth.  To that end, the YRI is in the process of establishing Illumination Center s (IC) to act as safe havens where children and young adults learn computer skills. The YRI is taking a three pronged approach to establish the YRI IC Program.  These three avenues target:

1.  Establishing the YRI IC in existing area schools.
2.  Establishing a YRI IC in the New Orleans Jazz Market.
3.  Building YRI IC as stand-alone structures throughout greater New Orleans.

1.  The YRI is currently finishing our first IC with the Success Preparatory Academy (SPA), a K-8 transformation charter school founded in New Orleans in 2009.  Since SPA has taken over for an under-performing school, SPA now ranks 9th out of 37 elementary/middle schools within the New Orleans Recovery School District based on SPA School Performance Score (SPS).  Of the previously mentioned 37 schools,, SPA showed the 2nd highest SPS growth from 2012 to 2013 and SPA ranks in the top 10 for highest growth among all charter schools in the State of Louisiana.  Because of this growth and achievement, SPA has recently been awarded a 5-year charter renewal.  This effort with the SPA is fully funded.

The YRI is now beginning a relationship with a second charter school for the establishment of the next IC using this model.

2. The YRI will establish an IC in the New Orleans Jazz Market which is fully funded and currently under construction.  This building will have more than 11,000 square feet and the YRI has been offered space on the first floor that will have great curbside visibility as well as entry location to the 600 seat auditorium.

3. The YRI IC stand-alone effort is the most ambitious program that the YRI is currently undertaking.  This aspect of the YRI IC approach is to identify blighted property in the Greater New Orleans area and coordinate with appropriate municipal government entities to acquire this land.  Once this acquisition is complete, funding will be acquired to construct brightly lit safe havens for area at-risk youth to learn computer skills necessary to function in every-day life.  Once these stand-alone structures are complete, the YRI envisions transferring operational and maintenance oversight of each IC stand-alone facility to the New Orleans Public Library system.  The New York firm, Maziar Behrooz Architecture has been retained to provide requisite technical and visual drawings as well as marketing material for fund raising efforts.

Youth Rescue Initiative Illumination Center - The Success Preparatory Academy, New Orleans, Louisiana
Students from the Success Preparatory Academy at the Illumination Center, located on Bienville Street in New Orleans, Louisiana. 
Students from the Success Preparatory Academy sit outside their Illumination Center located on Bienville Street in New Orleans, LA. The Success Preparatory Academy is an adopted school of Mr. Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra who perform free concerts for the student body, parents, faculty and administrators.
The Illumination Center at the New Orleans Jazz Market in New Orleans, Louisiana
Every Saturday at the New Orleans Jazz Market on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard in New Orleans, Louisiana is a free “Family Day” event. A music archive library, activities and games are available and offered to families of the greater New Orleans area. Pictured above is a portion of the New Orleans Jazz Market’s Illumination Center that offers children (and adults) free access to state-of-the-art computer systems designed to teach computer skills while educating attendees about the rich history and impact that Jazz played in developing New Orleans, Louisiana, and by extent, the world.