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

National Book Foundation partners with the NYC Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD) to run the Raising Readers initiative. This innovative program 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. Raising Readers provides paid professional development training for DYCD provider staff who work with young people through after-school and summer programs, and pairs staff with NBF teaching artists to collaboratively run reading circle series for parents at local DYCD sites across the city, complete with book giveaways, high-profile author talks, and book shopping opportunities for participants.

DYCD sites interested in applying for Raising Readers should visit the DYCD online bulletin board for application instructions.

For more details, email Director of Education, Jordan Smith.

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


  • Chinese American Planning Council at CPC Chung Pak
  • HANAC at PS 212
  • New York Junior Tennis League and JHS 383
  • Oasis Community Corporation at Brownsville Collaborative Middle School
  • Police Athletic League, Wynn Center
  • Phipps Neighborhood, Inc. at Institute of Mathematics
  • 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

American Street by Ibi Zoboi book cover Another Brooklyn book cover, 2016 Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates book cover, 2015

The Leavers, by Lisa Ko book cover
Ready Player One book cover The Turner House by Angela Flournoy book cover, 2015 We The Animals, by Justin Torres book cover


Selected in January 2018, these 12 books formed the foundation of reading and discussion activities. Staff and parent participants each received individual copies.

Faculty Name

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