Noted Children’s Author Reads for INMED

STERLING, VA (March 26, 2018): Could a wise tortoise in Niger hold the secret to surviving a devastating drought? Children who attended the Barnes & Noble Book Fair at One Loudoun last Saturday learned the answer from noted children’s book author/illustrator Nelda LaTeef, who read and signed her latest work, Animal Village, to benefit INMED’s Family & Youth Opportunity Center in Sterling, VA. She also read an earlier work titled The Hunter and the Ebony Tree.

Barnes & Noble regularly holds book fairs to benefit local nonprofits. A percentage of all eligible online sales, as well as in-store purchases at its One Loudoun store last Saturday afternoon, were donated to INMED’s programs for at-risk children and low-income families.

LaTeef, who spent a lot of time in Western Africa while studying anthropology at Harvard, was inspired to write Animal Village after hearing a griot (storyteller) in the Republic of Niger share an enchanting folk tale about a tenacious tortoise, who toils night and day to find water for her thirsty village. LaTeef’s vivid illustrations in acrylic, India ink, colored paper and collage on art board capture the richness and vibrancy of sub-Saharan culture. The story is especially relevant to today’s sub-Saharan Africa, as it focuses on the peril of drought and the importance of working together to find sustainable solutions.  

“The warm reception experienced at Barnes & Noble during the book fair was further enhanced by having Nelda share her stories with the children,” noted Cecilia A. Capece, Executive Director, INMED Family & Youth Opportunity Center. “She not only gave them insight into her writing, but also conveyed the importance of teamwork and perseverance in everyday life.”

In addition to its transformational programs in Loudoun County, INMED facilitates adaptive agriculture programs in climate-change-affected regions of Southern Africa, Jamaica and Latin America to improve food security, health and economic opportunities for vulnerable children and families.

For more information about programs at INMED’s Family & Youth Opportunity Center, visit To learn more about Nelda LaTeef, follow her on Facebook:

Photo grouping 1: Noted author/illustrator Nelda LaTeef read to a group of young explorers sporting safari hats and binoculars at a Barnes & Noble book fair to benefit the INMED Family & Youth Opportunity Center in Sterling, VA.

Photo grouping 2: LaTeef’s vivid illustrations in acrylic, Indian ink, colored paper and collage on art board capture the richness and vibrancy of sub-Saharan culture.






Thankful Thursday

We are grateful for community partner Sterling Public Library for all the creative and engaging activities its staff facilitates for the students in our after-school academic enrichment program at the Opportunity Center. From e-books to puzzles to STEM activities like the racing robot coding challenge pictured here, together we are helping at-risk children develop new skills and a deep love of learning.

@INMEDCenter @INMEDChildren @LCPLSterlingLibrary #STEM #education #school #library #reading #learning #academics #robots #fun #children #atriskyouth #Loudoun #ThisisLoudoun

Love of Reading

Reading has positive impacts on multiple levels. It reduces stress, engages the mind, increases vocabulary and brings new worlds of possibility within reach. Reading is a main component of our after-school academic enrichment program at our Opportunity Center.

Would you like to share your love of reading with a child who needs after-school assistance? Please contact INMED volunteer coordinator Yahaira Hanon at for details.

@INMEDCenter @INMEDChildren #education #school #library #reading #learning #academics #robots #fun #children #atriskyouth #Loudoun #ThisisLoudoun #LoudounBiz

Youth Art Month

Did you know that March is Youth Art Month? To celebrate, we’ve created a new virtual art gallery on our Opportunity Center web site, courtesy of Potomac Falls High School’s talented art students: INMED is an official partner for displaying artwork created by students of Loudoun County Public Schools.

If you would like to admire the work in person at INMED’s Family & Youth Opportunity Center in Sterling, please contact Executive Director Cecilia Capece at to schedule a tour.

@INMEDCenter @INMEDChildren @LCPSofficial #YouthArtMonth #art #artist #STEAM #creativity #school #education #children #artiskyouth

Dr. Vinton G. Cerf Visits Opportunity Center

Students in our after-school academic enrichment program received a gift they will never forget the other day. Dr. Vinton G. Cerf, Vice President at Google and widely known as the “Father of the Internet,” spent more than an hour observing the Center’s many educational activities provided for at-risk children. In one activity organized by Sterling Library, he helped students use binary coding to create personalized bracelets. He even made one for himself.

Dr. Cerf’s visit provided a major showcase of the many STEAM enrichment activities offered at the Opportunity Center. Learn more about how INMED is creating opportunities for at-risk children and families to thrive—and ways to get involved:

@INMEDCenter @INMEDChildren @Google #Internet #STEM #STEAM #education #school #academics #children #opportunity #atriskyouth #technology #tech #coding #computers #science #engineering #math

Animal Village by Nelda Lateef

It takes a village to inspire the hearts and minds of our students at the Opportunity Center—an Animal Village! On April 12, noted children’s author and illustrator Nelda Lateef will visit our after-school academic enrichment program to read her latest book, Animal Village.

Our students are in good company. Last week, Ms. Lateef met with the Ambassador of the Republic of Niger in New York City (pictured here) and was asked to read Animal Village at Niger’s Independence Day celebration. The book was inspired by the rich oral traditions of Niger. She also will be a guest speaker at the 5th International Board on Boards for Young People (IBBY) African Regional Conference in Accra, Ghana.

We are thrilled to have Ms. Lateef visit the Center and look forward to sharing updates!

@INMEDCenter @INMEDChildren #reading #education #STEAM #academics #school #AnimalVillage #learning #atriskyouth #opportunity #Niger #Ghana