Make the
NYC Reads

The Power of Collaboration to Achieve Impact

Launched in 2014, the NYC Reads Initiative combines the collective effort of 11 partner organizations with the strength inherent in every community to enhance literacy culture and increase the number of children who enter school prepared to learn and to sustain academic achievement.

At the heart of the NYC Reads Initiative is the belief that literacy is the key to all future learning and a shared commitment by all partners to work together to support children in attaining—and exceeding—reading proficiency.

we do it

NYC Reads Initiative partners implement programming and provide literacy resources in a small number of local schools, branch libraries and community based organizations.

And through intentional referral families engaged in home visiting programs and some pediatric offices are networked into the Reads community literacy effort. Our work engages children, families, and communities.


Promote reading and skill achievement by putting books in the hands of children, conducting read alouds, delivering peer tutoring, and implementing other literacy education and enrichment activities in school and in the community.


Facilitate workshops and coaching for adult caregivers and families that increase the knowledge and skill to develop a read at home routine, implement family literacy events, and build home libraries with free book give-aways.

Community members:

Promote literacy everywhere through events in parks and other public spaces and through book shares in local businesses.

Our Impact and Accomplishments:

The NYC Reads Initiative works. Over a five year period our partners in South Jamaica Queens and
East New York Brooklyn have resulted in a number of key impacts.

The NYC Reads Initiative increased access to and use of high quality, age-appropriate and
culturally relevant literacy resources in the community.


children received 18,537 hours of curriculum-based supplemental
literacy programs


children under 12 served across 5 library branches with school-visits, literacy programs, homework help, and bookmobiles


parents or families provided with training, workshops, or bi-weekly home visits to increase knowledge on supporting their child’s literacy development


children in both communities received a free storybook and their parents were provided with reading tips during pediatric visits


free books were distributed to families in both communities

The Queens and Brooklyn Public Libraries expanded staff, hours and visitors in Initiative partner branches.

The NYC Reads Initiative helped children increase their literacy skills


of students in East New York Reads’ curriculum-based programs increased their literacy skills with 51% reading at grade level or beyond


of students in South Jamaica Reads’ curriculum-based programs increased their reading skills with 46% reading at grade level or beyond

The Origins of the NYC Reads Initiative

In 2013 The Pinkerton Foundation brought together a number of literacy and early childhood organizations – once known as the New York City Literacy Network – to envision how a collaborative approach that prioritizes partnerships could accelerate impact in target communities.

NYC Reads Initiative officially launched in South Jamaica, Queens in 2014 and expanded to East New York, Brooklyn in 2015. From the initial vision for this Initiative through today, The Pinkerton Foundation has continued to be the primary funder of the Reads Initiative.

More than that, they are a partner in our work. The Pinkerton Foundation plays an active role supporting the NYC Reads Initiative to achieve its goals.