Nonprofit Organization Promotes Literacy and Education

The Juvenile Court Book Club (JCBC) was established in 1996 by retired San Diego Court Judge Maria Arroyo to promote literacy among youth in San Diego’s juvenile detention facilities. The nonprofit has established roots in Rancho Santa Fe – three board members reside in the area and bring their passion for volunteerism as well as awareness about the organization to the local community. JCBC brings volunteers into San Diego’s juvenile detention centers for monthly book club meetings and tutoring. Volunteers work with at-risk teens to develop their reading skills and foster a love of reading to further develop their education and enter the working world. The organization has received grants from various organizations in San Diego, including the Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund, which granted $45,000 to help fund the purchase of books.

JCBC also coordinates author visits, book signings, guest speakers, film screenings, and field trips to provide students with real-world experiences that bring insight and context to their book discussions. Currently, JCBC serves about 140 students a month. The organization is always looking for donations to purchase books. The current reading lists – and a list of all books previously read – can be found on the JCBC website at Visit the website to make a donation as well or learn more about volunteer opportunities. JCBC is especially in need of volunteers for the East Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility, which houses teen boys, as well as volunteers for their new book club at Camp Barrett. Visitor passes can be arranged for those interested. Contact to learn more about the volunteer opportunities.