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Bronx book event a hit

New York Teacher
Bronx book
Pat Arnow

Khadija Kolya has her son read aloud from a book to make sure it’s within his range before selecting it to bring home.

The UFT Bronx borough office held a back-to-school celebration on Aug. 26, bringing school supplies and organizing activities for more than 150 parents and children.

The union gave out more than 300 backpacks as well as facemasks, gloves and hand sanitizer. The New York Public Library gave away books and offered read-aloud and arts-and-crafts activities at the event.

“My 12-year-old son picked out eight books for free,” said Bronx parent Shekevea Wright, who also learned about the UFT’s Dial-A-Teacher homework helpline.

The Office of U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez donated backpacks and shared information about her Homework Help program. Other participants included the city’s Administration for Children’s Services, which donated masks and hand sanitizer; the state Department of Health, which provided household safety tips; and Mind Builders Creative Arts Center in Williamsbridge.

“My kids enjoyed doing the arts and crafts, and they all chose books and signed up for a library card,” said Erin Salazar, another parent with children enrolled in Bronx schools. “There’s a lot of question marks surrounding the upcoming school year, but it made me feel good getting my kids in gear.”

Marlow Murphy