Following a successful event in May at Linden Tree Elementary School, two more Bronx schools, P.S 70 and PS/MS 31, have hosted literacy events that harness the power Scholastic R.E.A.L., a literacy-based mentoring program. In total, these events have given nearly 3,000 books to empower young scholars to read and grow their academic performance with guidance from mentors in their community.
At both schools, students, educators, and mentors alike were overjoyed with the interactions. Parents relayed that they were surprised to see how easy it is to connect with the students and district leaders commented on the potential of this program. Event highlights include:
- At P.S. 70, over 900 students received free books and community mentors read-aloud with the whole kindergarten class.
- “I am excited about this program and it's potential to be a game changer supporting community involvement. It aligns to our #NYCReads initiative,” said Roberto Padilla, District 7 Superintendent. “Every child needs a mentor and something meaningful happens when volunteers from our community share their love for reading. Having the community as reading champions using Scholastic R.E.A.L can help us continue connecting communities and schools.”
- At PS/MS 31, 600 students were gifted free books and the first grade partook in a mentor-led read-aloud.
- “As a mentor, this read-aloud makes me want to read-aloud to them often. I was very surprised to see how they interacted with me. The students made me feel less nervous as we went on,” PS/MS 31 parent-mentor Lorina Hines said. “The best moments were the feedback I received from the students. They were engaged and paid attention to the story – the answers I got after asking questions made this experience better.”
Not only do these events inspire students to become lifelong readers – they equip parents and mentors to step out of their comfort zones and into the classroom with immediate strategies to become champions for student success. After each event, parents unanimously agreed that the literacy event strongly touched and impacted them in a meaningful way.
The Bronx has the highest dropout and graduation rates out of the five boroughs (NYC Department of Education). This kind of support is incredibly important as research tells us that 83% of children love read-aloud time (Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report™) and that mentors can support in increased graduation rates, academic performance, improved self-esteem, and more (Youth Gov). These events can provide stronger student and community support by infusing mentors into schools at a young age.
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