Southeast Queens councilwoman launches summer reading program

Children reading books at park
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Councilwoman Selvena Brooks-Powers kicked off an inaugural Summer Reading Initiative to encourage reading and improve literacy among young people in her southeast Queens district.

Brooks-Powers has partnered with The Book Fairies, a nonprofit organization that sources and redistributes books to under-resourced communities on Long Island, New York City and internationally. The councilwoman’s initiative will offer free books for students between the ages of 3 and 13. 

“Literacy empowers our students to become lifelong learners and thoughtful citizens,” Brooks-Powers said. “We have a responsibility to incentivize reading however we can, and to make it attractive and enticing for our young people. I am proud to sponsor this program and I hope families and their children participate in this exciting effort.”

The books have been donated by The Book Fairies and participants of the initiative will be eligible for a citation of recognition of the student’s work and commitment to reading from the Councilwoman with the submission of a one-page essay on the selected book. The student who reads the most books over the summer will receive special recognition at the annual Back-to-School event to be held in September.

District 29 Superintendent Dr. Crystal Bonds said that by providing free books and fostering a love for reading, the councilwoman is “nurturing the minds of future leaders.”

“Through this initiative, Councilwoman Brooks-Powers champions literacy as a gateway to lifelong learning and thoughtful citizenship, which is right in alignment with Chancellor Banks’ launch of NYC Reads,” Bonds said. “Her dedication shines as she partners with The Book Fairies to gift the magic of storytelling to young minds. Let us all unite behind this remarkable effort and celebrate the young readers who will shape our tomorrow.”

District 27 Superintendent David Norment said their instructional priority involves the retraining of teachers and leaders around foundational reading and reading comprehension, which aligns to the councilwoman’s summer reading initiative. 

“We thank her for helping our students develop the critical skills needed to ensure positive student outcomes. We also look forward to her continued support in helping our district fund the retraining of all our teachers, specifically in regard to the special skill set necessary to successfully teach reading,” Norment said. 

The books are available for pick up at the Laurelton District Office, located at 222-02 Merrick Blvd., and the Far Rockaway District Office, at 1931 Mott Ave., Suite 410. For more information call 718-527-4356.