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Parents Become Literacy Advocates and Readers Become Leaders

Updated: Dec 14, 2020

Very Involved Parent Gladys Gomez (center) with LINC staff Delilah Santamaria (left) and Silvia Alemañy (right).

The difficulties of 2020 have been inescapable. People living in the poorest New York City neighborhoods are dying from coronavirus at more than double the rate of others. There are far too many stories of hardship and sorrow. Despite every challenge, our commitment to defending children’s access to books and literacy is resolute. Here at LINC, we are sharing stories of resilience and gratitude. They start with the families we serve, and the volunteers we have trained as literacy advocates. They include a staff that has reimagined its way of building a networked neighborhood, now a virtual community and a board that understands early literacy programming is key to building a more equitable society. All of this depends on you.

A global pandemic has changed our approach but not stopped us from doing what we have done for the past 24 years - bringing people together to create a vibrant community that supports children in learning how to read and, more importantly, to love reading. You are part of this story.

From parents to literacy advocates.

From readers to leaders.

We can accomplish this together as a community!

LINC’s Very Involved Parent volunteer, Gladys Gomez shares her story:

“We will each remember this year differently but I hope we can all remember what was told to Mr. Rogers by his mother: ‘During scary times, look for helpers. You’ll always find people who are helping.’ LINC has helped my family for many years by being a key member in my children’s upbringing.

Thanks to the encouragement I received at the VIP training, I not only started motivating other parents in my children’s school, I also set the example for them to be helpers. We started to venture out to as many programs in the Bronx and Washington Heights as possible. When the pandemic hit, it was a scary time but LINC didn’t leave us. It continued not only to engage in programs for children but for us caretakers as well. It was such a relief to be able to say we can and we will continue to help.

The pandemic also affected our family directly. My dad passed away in August and although my dad was unable to read and write until much later in life, he always motivated us to learn. As immigrants, my parents had many doors shut in their face. I grew up seeing them struggle and did as much as I could to help. Now, I’m able to help other immigrant families in my community. We will continue to look for helpers but we are also going to be helpers. Thank you!”

You have made so many stories like Gladys’ possible. You have supported LINC, breaking generational chains of illiteracy. That is why your support for LINC is so important. Especially now.

With winter weather settling in and COVID cases rising, families with young children are forced to depend on what they already have at home. LINC’s strategies of distributing books to build home libraries, and providing joyful reading programs virtually are so clearly valuable. Because LINC has invested in empowering parents and fostering an atmosphere of literacy at home, LINC families are staying engaged with reading.

But how many more families need help?

Of the 442,837 children living in poverty, 30.6%, or 135,780, are under the age of 5 - and that was before the pandemic submerged many more families below the poverty line. With your support, we can help more. We need your support to continue building communities that transform families and families that transform communities.

You are part of this “we-powered” resiliency. Help LINC continue the stories.

Your gift builds a more equitable city, one where every parent is empowered

to raise readers and every child has a fair start in life.


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