Raising Readers

If you want to raise a reader, be a
reader. Make the space, and time,
for books you read for yourself.

The New York Times

Rita Williams-Garcia with Raising Readers participants. Photo credit: Christian Rodriguez

Born out of a partnership with the NYC Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD), the Raising Readers initiative aims to empower adults who work with and raise children to expand their own love of books and reading, in order to better model the habit of reading for pleasure with the young people in their lives. This innovative program provides paid professional development training for out-of-school time provider staff who work with young people through after-school and summer programs, and pairs staff with NBF teaching artists to collaboratively run book clubs for parents at sites across New York City, complete with book giveaways, high-profile author talks, and book shopping opportunities for participants.

For more details, email Education Programs Manager, Julianna Lee Marino.

Various Raising Readers program activities from 2018, including an author visit from Ibi Zoboi (top). Photo credit: Christian Rodriguez

Past participants in Raising Readers have included:

  • Aspira of New York, Inc. at JHS 131 Albert Einstein
  • Chinese American Planning Council at PS 153
  • Chinese American Planning Council at CPC Chung Pak
  • Community Mediation Services at PS 8 Robert Fulton
  • El Puente de Williamsburg at Taylor Wythe
  • Good Shepherds Services at MS 206
  • Graham-Windham Harlem Beacon
  • HANAC at PS 2
  • HANAC at PS 212
  • SCAN at Coalition School for Social Change
  • Sports and Arts In Schools Foundation at CS 134X
  • New York Junior Tennis League and JHS 383
  • NIA Community Services at PS 179 Kensington
  • Oasis Community Corporation at Brownsville Collaborative Middle School
  • Phipps Neighborhood, Inc. at Institute of Mathematics
  • Police Athletic League, Wynn Center
  • Queens Community House Inc. at PS 86Q
  • Queens Community House Inc. at MS 358
  • Research Foundation of CUNY at Bronx School for Law, Government, and Justice
  • Research Foundation of CUNY at PS 181
  • University Settlement at East Side Community High School
  • Union Settlement at PS 138


These are some of the books that, since 2018, have formed the foundation of reading and discussion activities in Raising Readers. Staff and parent participants have received individual copies.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozie AdichieAmerican Street by Ibi Zoboi book coverAn American Marriage book coverAnother Brooklyn book cover, 2016Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates book cover, 2015Educated by Tara WestoverThe Leavers, by Lisa Ko book coverLittle Fires Everywhere by Celeste NgMe Talk Pretty One Day, by David Sedaris book coverPachinko by Min Jin LeeA Place for Us by Fatima Farheen MirzaThe Poet X by Elizabeth AcevedoTell Me How It Ends by Valeria LuiselliThat Kind of Mother by Rumaan AlamThe Turner House by Angela FlournoyWe The Animals, by Justin Torres book cover


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