Who We Are
LINC works day in and day out throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island, to provide reading and learning opportunities for children so that they grow into competent readers, ready to succeed in school and in life.
LINC harnesses the power that exists in every community to make literacy a value and right of all children. Our children’s educational success is the path out of poverty and the key to achievement.
LINC works at the intersection of early education and community development. Our mission is to equip children with foundational literacy skills essential for academic achievement by empowering families and mobilizing the community.
Early Literacy is Key
Literacy connects children with opportunities. When children grow up in a literacy-rich environment, they are better prepared to embrace academic challenges and flourish in other aspects of their life. Early literacy leads to better outcomes and increased access to opportunities. Until third grade, children learn to read; by the end of third grade, children need to read in order to learn.
Learn more about 'The Literacy Challenge in New York City'.
*A study by Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley found that on average, by age three a child in a professional family would be exposed to around 45 million words, compared to 26 million words for a working-class family, and 13 million words for a family on welfare.”
The Literacy Challenge
in New York City
The academic curriculum replaces reading instruction with math, social studies and science. Children who are not reading at grade level by the end of third grade are destined to fall behind with little hope of catching up. A student living in poverty who can’t read on grade level by 3rd grade is 13x less likely to graduate than his/her proficient, wealthier peer. (Source: Donald Hernandez, “Study Reading Problems Can Flag Potential Dropouts”).
High School dropouts face chronic unemployment, dependence on public assistance and economic marginalization. When our children fall behind, we all bear the consequences.
Children from low-income families face an even bigger challenge. Last year, 70% of low-income third graders were not reading at grade level. Why? Every parent wants their child to succeed but families living in poverty face many compounding challenges.
LINC's programs empower parents and families to become active partners to ensure their child’s academic success. The contrast between low and higher-income families in their ability to promote literacy is real and significant.
How LINC Helps
LINC works at the intersection of education and community development. Our Community Literacy Model provides interconnected programming designed to mobilize existing resources in a neighborhood. Our combination of school, family and community programming nurtures a sustainable culture of reading at the community level. This holistic approach delivers immersive literacy environments for children.
Hover over each ring to learn more.
Successful in School & Beyond
Motivation to read more
Knowledge of expectations
Opportunities for practice & resources
Skills to read at grade level
Successful at being their child’s first teacher
Knowledge of community resources and school expectations
Opportunities to practice family literacy skills and model positive behaviors
Knowledge of the importance of a daily reading habit for children
Sustain Literacy-Rich Communities
Fiscal support for resources that support increased access and opportunities for family literacy programs
Policy that promotes systemic, community-driven approaches to the literacy crisis
Shifts in cultural awareness and increased value of early literacy achievement
Are Literacy Rich
Opportunities and access to high quality local resources and programs inside and outside of school
Schools, libraries, and community partners are aligned to engage families around reading success
Schools, libraries, and community partners have the knowledge and skills to promote positive reading behaviors
Our founder Mimi Levin Lieber saw that individual communities already possess many of the resources to raise accomplished children. Yet Mimi saw an overwhelming number of children affected by systemic poverty struggling in school, and later in life. She learned that early literacy sets the foundation for improved academic outcomes and success. Literacy is the key to unlocking a brighter future. She established LINC as a framework to integrate community resources at a community’s disposal, while connecting these resources with cutting-edge literacy programming. Together, LINC and the community provide a literate foundation for children to thrive.
Learn more about Mimi Levin Lieber.
LINC’s growth rests on the strengths of its community-focused approach to developing early literacy. LINC will continue to build on that strong foundation, reaching children earlier, involving their parents and caregivers at every step, and advocating for equitable public policies and resources to support children.
– Mimi Levin Lieber, LINC Founder
LINC is driven by the belief that individual communities possess the resources and the ability to raise accomplished children.
Mimi Levin Lieber had a successful career as founder and President of Lieber Attitude Research, a consumer and public opinion research firm. But that wasn’t enough. Passionate about education, she served for 15 years on the New York State Board of Regents.
What she saw was an overwhelming number of young children from low-income neighborhoods struggling in school and later in life. What she learned was that early reading was a key component for their success.