2012-04-27 / School News

PS/MS 114 Now Runner-Up For Free Books

There is one week left for parents to help their children’s school get free library books from a non-profit called Books 4 Our Schools. Twenty New York City public schools can win by having school parents log onto the organization’s website and clicking on their favorite school. The contest will end on April 30, and PS/MS 114 in Belle Harbor is now the runner-up. The top ten vote-getting schools will get 75-100 books and ten additional schools will be selected for a prize.

“When a kid asks for a book he really wants to read and we have to turn him away, I get a little sad,” says Kevin Daly, who is a volunteer librarian at his son’s school. “Older books get out of date or ‘loved to death,’ and we always need to replenish what we have – the more books, the merrier.”

So, Daly, whose son attends P.S. 163, The Alfred E. Smith School on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, is doing something about stocking the library’s shelves: voting for his son’s school in the Books 4 Our School challenge, a campaign that will provide 75-100 new books to 20 public and private elementary and middle schools as well as daycare centers in the New York area and Fairfield County.

“Because of citywide school budget cuts, our school hasn’t had a staff librarian for a couple of years. While we work with our principal, and hope and advocate for increased funding from the Department of Ed., we volunteer librarians scramble along with whatever we can get,” Daly says. “Any time we can improve our library without further straining our tight finances, we’re going to jump at the chance.”

Daly is not the only one who is stepping up to the challenge. Thousands of parents across New York and Fairfield County have already voted for their child’s school since the challenge kicked off late March. From public and private schools in Queens and the Bronx to those in Westchester, Long Island, and Rockland County, the response shows that all types of schools are always in need of new books, including ones that are fortunate to see renovations.

Danielle Montgomery, whose son attends P.S. 38, The Pacific, in Brooklyn, says although the school is beginning to fix up the library, new books aren’t yet on the horizon, and without new, exciting books, it’s difficult to get kids motivated to read. “I want to pass this enthusiasm [for reading] to my son’s classmates,” says Montgomery, who got her son a library card when he turned 1.

The Books 4 Our School challenge is sponsored by the Brooke Jackman Foundation, a 10-yearold nonprofit dedicated to promoting children’s literacy, and NYMetroParents, publisher of eight regional parenting magazines throughout the New York metropolitan area.

To get involved in the challenge, visit books4ourschool.org.

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