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Troubled teens pen kid’s books behind bars

EVERETT – Reading, writing and arithmetic are the building blocks for a good education. And now local students are learning how to read thanks to the hard work by students at the Denney Juvenile Justice Center.

It’s a program called Art Alternatives, it gives the troubled youth a chance to create a children’s book.

“Some people have described it as humor with an attitude and I see that,” said the art teacher and program founder, Henri Wilson.

Every two years the students create a new book with a new theme. They come up with the words and draw the pictures. Over the past ten years, 10,000 copies of the books have gone out to students in Snohomish County.

“I think its fun and a positive program; it helps us give back to the community,”said one student at Denney.

The students are now working on their 7th book. The program is funded through grants and money from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Schack Art Center.

To learn more about the program, click this link.

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