License to Dream at the Department of Make Believe

In the middle of urban Oakland, a literacy sanctuary for youth is being cooked up with some essential ingredients – imagination, creativity, and a drive for community change. Known as the Department of Make Believe, this community center is the brainchild of Chapter 510, a PVF designated fund.

Motivated by the fact that reading proficiency by third grade is the most important predictor of high school graduation, Chapter 510 is striving to ensure all Oakland youth excel in literacy and writing. The initiative was founded by a group of Oakland residents who wanted to establish a literacy project focused on developing creative writing skills for students as an empowering way to encourage youth voices.

Once fully built, the center will include a 7-day a week retail store, a student-curated library, writing and bookmaking workshops for youth, after-school tutoring, and a performance space for young writers.

Come check out Chapter 510’s Department of Make Believe open house tonight from 5-9pm during Oakland’s First Friday, where you can fill out applications for permits to make believe, create books and masks, and dream that anything in Oakland is possible.

If you are interested in helping Chapter 510 build this dream of youth literacy in Oakland, we invite you to donate today.

The new headquarters of Chapter 510's Department of Make Believe
From left to right: Chapter 510 founders, Janet Heller and Tavia Stewart-Streit
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