Find literacy and reading resources in Queens, including children's reading enrichment programs and volunteer opportunities for teens and adults.
Patient, fluent English-speakers with a high school diploma or higher and three months to dedicate to improving literacy should check out the volunteer opportunities at the Queens Library. Two literacy-specific options include either becoming a Literacy Tutor or an ESOL Facilitator. While both positions use technology, create weekly lesson plans, and concentrate on connecting learning to read, write, and speak English with everyday tasks like writing a check, facilitators meet with 10-person groups for 90-minute sessions, while tutors meet with smaller groups for a minimum of three hours weekly. Get a jumpstart on volunteering by visiting the website's volunteer tab to fill out a program volunteer application.
RIF: Reading Is Fundamental
Locations throughout Queens and all of New York City
Reading Is Fundamental serves children through a national network of volunteer coordinators and literacy programs in nearly 19,000 locations across the U.S. (check the website for sites near you). Last year, in New York state alone, 328,935 children selected 1,159,279 books to keep as their own. Visit the website to learn about volunteering, donating, or advocating with Congress to maintain funding beyond the current temporary funding resolution set to expire on March 4.
Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Bronx
Reaching out to local youths through poetry, hip-hop, and uncensored self-expression, Urban Word promotes a holistic view of literacy that goes beyond reading and writing to include societal awareness and community leadership. The program aims to foster youth leadership through literacy by giving teens ages 13-19 an arena for their unique voices by validating all forms of writing from texting and blog posts to Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson. Support this alternative to traditional literacy workshops by attending the Annual NYC Teen Poetry Slams taking place all over the city: Beginning March 6, local teens perform their original works and compete to represent New York City and defend the reigning champion title in the national poetry slam held in San Francisco. All ticket profits benefit the free workshops. Additional donations can be made through the website, and those interested in donating their time should call about becoming a "Creatively College Bound" mentor to students beginning the university admissions process.
Also see: How to Help Your Child Be a Confident Reader
Resources: Our Education Resource Guide to the New York metro area
Our Online Calendar, for storytelling events and more in Rockland County and the New York metro area