Giving the Gift of Literacy in The Zone
“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. L Love of books is the best of all.”
—Jacqueline Kennedy, Former First Lady of the United States of America
Countless studies have been done over the years on the importance of building early literacy skills from the time a baby is in the womb, through the time they walk through the door for their first day of school. I remember very vividly the Christmas that I was ten years old when my Aunt was visiting from the Caribbean, and brought me a copy of Cinderella. I was so excited, a book to add to my growing collection. I remember thinking ‘when I grow up, I am going to have my own library at home with tons and tons of books.’
As I’ve grown older through the years, one of the things that I love to gift to any child, friend or family member for any occasion is a book. In a time where technology seems so prevalent, the feeling of a book in one’s hands seems to have become something of a pastime. At Zone 126 we have significantly emphasized the importance of literacy, and have focused our work in the last several years around building our own approach to Community Schools that is delivered through the Collective Impact Framework.
Through strategic partnerships with the Parent-Child Home Program, the Child Center of NY, Queens Library and others we have made a commitment to ensuring students enter Kindergarten, ready to learn and are on a successful trajectory to on time reading by 3rd grade.
This holiday season Zone 126 launched a campaign called “Giving the Gift of Literacy in the Zone,” an Amazon Wishlist of books age appropriate for children who are Pre-K through 5th grade that would be distributed by Zone Elves at our first annual Cocoa Mingle at PS 171Q. We have had a tremendous outpouring from friends, family, local community members, and business owners who have sent us 300 books to distribute in the coming days.
Testimonials on this campaign include “what a great idea, I remember this book from when I was a kid,” or “wow the magic of a book” or even “all the places a child can go with their imagination when they are given a book, and taught to read.” This collective community-wide effort to support the children of PS 171Q is central to the work we do in the Zone each and everyday. The children of Astoria thank you for being a part of the building their own personal library, and putting them on a path to literacy success.
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