Mission Statement

City’s First Readers, an initiative of the New York City Council, is a collaboration of nonprofit organizations fostering the literacy development of NYC children, ages 0-5. The initiative provides parents, early childcare providers, and teachers with the resources and services needed to ensure children enter school ready to read and achieve educational success.

New York City is Facing a Literacy Crisis

According to 2013-2014 English Language Arts standardized test scores, 70% of New York City’s third grade students are reading below grade level. Amongst the City’s poor, 76% are not reading on grade level. Once these students fall behind, it becomes increasingly difficult for them to catch up. Children who do not experience literacy success in the early years are more likely to drop out of high school, and have far fewer opportunities to experience economic success. Ensuring the future vitality of our great city begins with early literacy development.

Exposure and Resources Matter

Those who have access to resources are able to provide greater learning opportunities for their children. The City’s First Readers initiative works to correct the disparities found between families with access to resources, and those who have limited access.