SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A local organization is helping inspire women and children who are victims of abuse to read by creating a safe space for them at local shelters.
The Wildflower Initiative has designed ten library spaces around San Diego County.
“We create these very enviable, now, spaces that are comforting, inspiring, and really bring something out in the children to empower them to take agency over themselves," said Tiana Uribe, the organization's founder.
The Wildflower Initiative works with its partners to custom-design an area for each shelter. ABC 10News visited one in the North County which had several bookcases packed with books for various ages, in both English and Spanish, as well as chairs, stuffed animals, and even a tent in which children could sit and read.
“There’s a lot of gasping when kids and parents see this room. There’s a lot of oh my god, that’s so cool. There’s a lot of I’ve been wanting to read that book," said Sofia Hughes, who helps oversee shelters run by the Women's Resource Center.
Women's Resource Center CEO Stephanie Miller says it is critical to inspire young children to read. And she says giving mothers and their children a safe, quiet place to bond through reading together gives them a significant sense of normalcy in a difficult time.
“They are so occupied with just trying to be safe and going through the trauma of abuse and not having the time to promote literacy and really engaging the kids to read," Miller said.
People who are interested in helping can visit www.thewildflowerinitiative.org.