A mentoring and character-development program for first- or second-time juvenile offenders with nonviolent records that seeks to build virtuous character through the study of moral themes in literature.
Reading for Life (RFL) is a diversion program for first- or second-time juvenile offenders with nonviolent records. RFL is designed to foster virtuous character development in at-risk adolescents through personal mentoring relationships and group discussion. Youth in the program study selected works of literature in reading groups of up to five participants, which meet twice a week for ten weeks. The reading groups are led by trained volunteer mentors. The 60-minute sessions consist of oral readings, journaling questions, and facilitated discussions of lessons about living virtuously that are drawn from the literature. The program culminates in a one-day community service project and a final presentation to parents and program staff. The mentors who lead the groups attend quarterly meetings to receive ongoing training and supervision. The program costs roughly $1,000 per participant.1