Op-Ed: Growing Bookworms From Harlem To Hollis

nyc 365 booksBy NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña

In one way or another, as loved ones and guardians, we have so much to offer that can inspire our children to love reading.  Some of my most treasured memories include listening to my father’s stories about his native country Spain. He would weave his real life experiences with a war torn country which ignited my passion for reading and a subject I still consider my passion today – social studies. 

Reading opens doors, fosters creativity, encourages imagination and expands opportunities for our children. It is crucial that our families have the right tools and resources to support their children’s reading habits beyond the classroom, which is why this week I announced NYC Reads 365, a new multi-year citywide literacy effort to promote reading every day both inside and outside our schools.

Schools will receive updated reading lists for each grade, new posters and bookmarks encouraging reading and families will receive resources to build on this learning at home. In fact, we launched a new website for students and families to easily access updated reading lists and extensive reading resources at NYC Reads 365 website.

I am asking all New Yorkers from Harlem to Hollis – not just students and families – to join me in promoting NYC Reads 365 to raise awareness and provide more reading resources for students and families. As we give New York City students and families resources to make daily reading a reality in their lives, I know that we are going to be a better city for it. We are also working with the New York, Brooklyn and Queens Public Libraries to ensure that the texts on the reading lists are available throughout the city.  

The importance of daily reading is promoted by a wealth of academic research, and parents and families will be important partners in ensuring the success of NYC Reads 365. The effort is being launched the same week as November elementary school parent-teacher conferences, and will be highlighted through elementary, middle, and high school parent-teacher conferences this month. Through these parent-teacher conferences, ongoing parent communications, and the NYC Reads 365 website, parents will receive information and resources to support reading outside the school day.

Encouraging all students to channel their inner bookworm will be great for our city and families are our partners in ensuring the success of NYC Reads 365. I encourage everyone to support this initiative and help make the gift of reading a reality for all of our students.

NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña reading to school students. Courtesy of the NYC Department of Education.

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