New Yorkers ReadEight Million Reasons to Read Fall 2008

Thanks to a generous grant from Macy's, 109 middle schools in New York City have received books, professional development and reading motivation materials to launch the New Yorkers Read Campaign. The grant provided exciting non-fiction books for middle school students to explore the many aspects of the world around them and make connections to their life careers and goals. The campaign, launched in September 2009, will focus on the myriad ways in which reading is both a necessity and an enrichment for the millions of New Yorkers.

A recent New York Times article, which discussed what people read on the subway, underlined the concept that there are eight million different reasons to read in the Big Apple: Reading Underground

During the middle school years, when students are focused on developing personally, socially and academically, reading is paramount in enabling students to achieve success. Students who develop a love of reading and an ability to read with comprehension are more likely to be engaged in their learning and empowered to meet the academic and personal demands of their future -- both in school and in the workplace. To ensure that all middle school students in New York City are prepared for high school, college and careers, the Department of Education has developed the Campaign for Middle School Success.

As a part of that initiative, the Office of Library Services has developed the New Yorkers Read campaign.

The overall goal of this campaign is to:

  • Connect middle school students with real-life reasons to read, as demonstrated every day by the eight million residents of New York City.
  • Enable middle school students to build a pathway to their future through exploration of dynamic nonfiction books.
This campaign will validate the reading experiences of the students and their families, communities, and cultures so that students recognize that reading is a "life skill" that surrounds every area of life and is the key to future success.

Activities at the school level will include:
  • Book clubs;
  • Addition of a collection of engaging nonfiction books to the school library;
  • Collection of “I read because. . .” post cards from family and community;
  • School-wide reading motivation campaign and assembly;
  • Family literacy celebration.
Much of the reading motivational material is available for downloading by any school which wishes to create a similar campaign. This includes the "Journey Through Reading" passport, the "I read because..." postcards (available in eight languages in addition to Englilsh) and sample postcards (available in eight languages plus English). There is also a downloadable poster, which can be filled in with local information to publicize the program. This material is available at: Reading Motivation Materials.

If you are interested in the book list that the grantees received, go to: Book List.

If you would like to view the professional development materials for the New Yorkers Read Campaign, click here: Professional Development.

If you are interested in more support tools, click here: Additional Tools

For additional information about the New Yorkers Read Campaign, contact:
Judith Schaffner
New York City School Library System
New York City Department of Education Office of Library Services
Have fun and good reading!