New York City libraries are gearing up for summer reading and educational programs over the next two years thanks to a million-dollar grant from the New York Life Foundation, the largest corporate funder of the summer reading program citywide.
The grant, awarded to libraries across the five boroughs, will support efforts to encourage independent learning while students are on their summer break and avoid the “summer slide,” when some students lose critical academic skills gained during the school year if not engaged in enriching activities during the summer.
“Libraries provide important free summer reading and educational programs to thousands of children who otherwise would not have access to them,” said the foundation President, Heather Nesle. “Studies have shown that much of the achievement gap can be attributed to unequal summer learning opportunities, which is why the Foundation supports out-of-school-time programs.”
The summer reading program launches in early June at over 200 library branches in all five boroughs. Kids and teens read as many books as possible, earn prizes, and participate in engaging activities. In addition to reading support, the grant is used to support various youth education programs for middle school students involving technology, science, engineering, arts, math, history, and more.
“The New York Public Library works every summer to encourage students to keep learning, keep growing, and keep being curious while they’re away from school,” said New York Public Library President Anthony W. Marx. “We want to develop a culture of reading that goes beyond the classroom and supports the city’s educational efforts. We are so grateful for the New York Life Foundation’s support of these important efforts and know that students across New York City will benefit from their generosity.”
“The New York Public Library works every summer to encourage students to keep learning, keep growing, and keep being curious while they’re away from school.” - Anthony W. Marx, President, New York Public Library
“We look forward to seeing libraries across the borough crowded with students of all ages this summer and are so grateful for the support of the New York Life Foundation as we help children across New York discover the joy of reading,” said Brooklyn Public Library President and CEO Linda E. Johnson.
“We know that children and teens count on our libraries to discover and grow during the out-of-school hours year-round, and summer offers especially meaningful opportunities,” said Queens Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott. “We are grateful to the New York Life Foundation for its generous support in helping us develop a hands-on summer learning program for middle school students to advance their STEAM skills.”
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*Photo credit: Gregg Richards