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First Book event

Empowering kids page by page
New York Teacher
First Book event
Jonathan Fickies

PS 398 parent Dwayne O’Bryant and his daughter prepare to take a bag full of books from the UFT’s Family Information Fair and First Book event.

More than 1,000 parents, some with children in tow, brought their own bags, boxes and containers to the First Book event at PS 257 in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on Nov. 5 and carted off many of the 40,000 free books on offer. The most enthusiastic attendees at the event, which was co-sponsored by the UFT and the American Federation of Teachers, were elementary school students, with books from the Artemis Fowl series especially popular, said Brooklyn Parent and Community Liaison Tesa Wilson. The parents also had the opportunity to watch a dance performance by PS 257 students and peruse community resources from 30 organizations at the Family Information Fair. Paraprofessional Norma Rosario, one of more than 40 staff members from PS 257 who volunteered at the event, picked up books for her 16-year-old son and her 10-year-old niece. “I was amazed at how many books we had to share with the community,” she said. Allison Thomas, the PTA president at nearby MS 126, said her 13-year-old daughter, who usually “only reads when she has to,” quickly became engrossed in books from the Disney Villains series that she had brought home. Thomas saw similar enthusiasm among the younger children in the book aisles. “You could see the smiles on the little kids’ faces,” she said. The books were donated by the nonprofit First Book, which provides books for children who might otherwise not have access to them.

Related Topics: Parents