“If you feel it in your heart and you're ready to take part, say I'm not alone―I'M NOT ALONE!” Excerpt from You Are Not Alone by authors Kaitlin McGaw, Tommy Shepherd and illustrator Ashley Evans
This August, the NYC Reads Initiative coordinated back to school storywalks in all three of its communities (East New York, South Jamaica, and East Harlem) and one thing was certain. These families are not alone!
For some families, these back to school celebrations are an annual tradition. For others, they are a brand new experience and a wonderful opportunity to support children’s literacy in their neighborhoods. Books and school supplies were distributed by a number of the NYC Reads Initiative partners. There were read-alouds, activities and crafts, even a mobile library, and adults were invited to take the NYC Reads Pledge to join the Reads community.
At the center of each neighborhood’s Back to School celebration was a read-aloud of You Are Not Alone by authors Kaitlin McGaw and Tommy Shepherd, a story that reassures kids that they belong, their unique identities are to be loved, and they have a responsibility to look out for each other. This story invites readers of all kinds to unite, much like the Reads Pledge brings together families and businesses in each of the NYC Reads communities.
Over 100 pledges were made during these Back to School events, commitments to surround every child in New York City with the tools and skills needed to be successful in school by 5th grade.
Karen Rogel, the Associate Director of the NYC Reads Initiative, explained how the Pledge works as she showcased the initiative’s latest publication–Beyond the Book: Books, Activities and Fun. This vibrant calendar and guide of books and activities from around the world has an easy to scan QR code that connects families to the NYC Reads Pledge and is available in five different languages: English, Spanish, Arabic, Bengali and Chinese.
Beyond the Book is filled with empowering titles–stories of diverse backgrounds, identities, and experiences that inspire children to love themselves and celebrate each other, and remember, they are not alone!
Register now and don’t miss a chance to be part of the largest international reading event in the world, Read for the Record! On October 29, millions of families around the globe will read Nigel and the Moon by Antwan Eady.