Many of New York City’s children do not enter school with the tools they need to succeed. We can close this achievement gap by surrounding children and families with opportunities to build strong foundations in early literacy. City’s First Readers, an initiative of New York City Council, is a coalition of not-for-profits and public libraries with the goal of implementing community-wide early-literacy immersion programs that offer children additional literacy experiences at their homes, schools, daycares, libraries, hospitals and other key locations throughout their immediate neighborhoods.
Endorsed by the American Pediatric Association, City’s First Readers has actively engaged libraries and not-for-profit organizations since 2014, to address the literacy crisis and education disparities facing New York City. By investing in effective, high-quality early childhood literacy services, programs, and resources for children from birth to age 5, City’s First Readers works to ensure that all children — regardless of their social and economic backgrounds — have a solid foundation from which to start school successfully and with confidence, thrive academically, and have the opportunity to succeed beyond their school years as well.
This year’s $2.8 million investment in City’s First Readers was made possible by Council Members Stephen Levin and Antonio Reynoso under the leadership of Speaker Corey Johnson.
City’s First Readers is thrilled to launch this summer’s “Read the City!” Look for the above advertisements from children’s book illustrators Tomie dePaola and Paul Galinski on kiosks, in subway stations and at bus stops in every New York City borough.
We are excited to announce a donation from Phyllis E. Grann of more than 200,000 copies of her new children’s book, I Will Talk to You, Little One. These books will be distributed during the discharge process to families of newborns at hospitals serving high needs neighborhoods across New York City. A gift from Ms. Grann, the book conveys a message to parents about the importance of talking and reading to your baby from infancy to expand your child’s learning skills for life.