Better World

NYC book stipend program aims to foster a love of reading

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A public school district in New York City recently launched a pilot program to encourage reading among its students. New York City school district 14, which covers several neighborhoods of Brooklyn, will provide a book stipend to parents of students to help them buy books.

Schools Chancellor David Banks and District 14 Superintendent David Cintron announced the launch of the book stipend program in March, and explained its connection to the city’s new reading curriculum which aims to keep kids engaged in reading and learning even after they leave the classroom.

This isn’t the first initiative in New York City with the goal of increasing kids’ access to books. In 2022, the New York and Brooklyn Public Libraries launched their “Books for All” project, which provided free access to banned or challenged books.

Another effort to increase access to banned books is also underway in Texas, where the Austin Public Library has started a social media platform called “Save the Books Social.” The social media site serves as a place for teens to engage with each other on the topic of book bans, and organize to support the freedom to read.

Mckenna Saady is a staff writer and digital content lead for ParentsTogether. Before working for nonprofits such as the Human Rights Campaign and United Way, Mckenna spent nearly a decade as a child care provider and Pre-K teacher. Originally from Richmond, VA, she now lives in Philadelphia and writes poetry, fiction, and children’s literature in her spare time.