The National Book Foundation will launch an adult-focused reading initiative, Raising Readers, after receiving one of seven 2018 Mayor’s Grants for Cultural Impact from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
The program, which will be implemented in partnership with the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), aims, the NBF said, to “to empower adults who work with and raise children to expand their own love of books and reading, in order to better model the habit of reading for pleasure with the young people in their lives.”
The initiative will provide paid professional development training for DYCD provider staff, who will work with young people through afterschool and summer programs, and will pair staff with NBF teaching artists to collaboratively run reading circle series for parents at local DYCD sites across the city. Other programs included in the initiative include book giveaways, lectures from high-profile authors,, and book shopping opportunities for participants.
“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the Department of Youth and Community Development, and, with the launch of this new initiative, to further enrich the work we do together,” Lisa Lucas, executive director of the NBF, said in a statement. “Over the last few years we’ve been able to encourage a love of reading in young people around New York City, helping provide access to the joys of book ownership through our Book Up Summer Storytellers collaboration with DYCD and Boomwriter. With the help of this grant, we will be able to implement a more holistic approach that offers resources to the parents and service providers whose own reading habits will directly impact the children in their lives.”
Among other literary programs launched through the grant is the Free Verse Poetry Apprentice Project, a collaboration between Carnegie Hall and the NYC Department of Probation that will provide free, year-round literary arts programming designed to connect people on probation with their neighborhoods.