City’s First Readers has made a difference in the lives of about 1.3 million families since it began in 2014.  It’s “Read the City!” public awareness campaign reached an additional 10,000 families. New York City Council’s expanded investment afforded an increase in depth, breadth, and quality of programs and services for children and families across New York City, particularly those living in under-resourced neighborhoods.

Overview of City’s First Readers’ Achievements, 2016-2017

Increasing Literacy Opportunities

  • Most partners substantially scaled the number of literacy opportunities in Year 3.
  • City’s First Readers literacy services were provided at 412 sites or locations, an increase from 226 sites in Year 1, and 273 sites in Year 2.
  • An estimated 882,655 families were served by research-proven programs and services offered by 10 Literacy Partners across New York City neighborhoods.
  • 32 communities were served in Year 3, including 10 new communities (5 communities in Brooklyn; 4 communities in Queens; and 1 community in the Bronx).

Building Energy and Enthusiasm for Reading

  • A total of 335,478 free books and educational toys were distributed to children and families; this includes 300,166 books that were distributed by pediatricians at 159 locations across New York City.
  • 77,235 Early Childhood Literacy Kits (which include age-appropriate books and educational tools, and informational outreach packets) were created and distributed to children and families.
  • Over 12,200 City’s First Readers promotional items (posters, etc.) were distributed to partner organizations and community institutions throughout New York City.
  • A new City’s First Readers campaign, “Read the City”, reached an estimated 10 million people in each of the five boroughs and digitally through informational bilingual posters.

Strengthening Literacy Knowledge, Skills and Practices

  • 27,371 early literacy program sessions were offered in 289 locations across New York City, serving 391,960 children, 239,340 parents, and 45,058 families.
  • 195,332 families received one-on-one services with a pediatrician, interventionists, and through home visits.
  • 953 providers of early childhood literacy services received training through 297 capacity building workshops.
  • 632 parent engagement workshops were offered in 213 locations across New York City, serving 4,279 families.
  • More families know where to go for literacy services within their communities – including libraries, schools, and medical facilities – and are more aware of the importance of early childhood literacy.
  • CFR has contributed to an increase in the number of parents who spend over 20 minutes reading to their children.