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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Library gives local kids 2,000 new things to do: Mario Batali Foundation’s partnership with the Books for Kids Foundation

These impressive numbers were one for the books: On July 10, the second day of their eight-week summer camp, 300 kids got a first look at thousands of reasons not to claim they were bored.

A ribbon cutting ceremony celebrated the opening of Hudson Guild's Books for Kids After School Library. Stocked with 2,000 literary selections designed for ages 5-11, the library will be used primarily by those currently enrolled in Summer Day Camp, then children from nearby PS33, PS11 and Guardian Angel schools who attend the Guild's after school program.
Soon, the library will begin to offer activities designed to improve concentration and reading ability. A specialized social worker will work individually with children (and sometimes with groups) to help build specific skills such as impulse management and cooperation. "Academic and socialization skills are a big area of focus for our social worker," Jockers says, noting that the library's reading-based activities will provide a new environment in which kids can sharpen their abilities while cementing friendships, developing confidence and discovering stories that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

At the library's inaugural event, Batali recited poems from Shel Silverstein's "A Light in the Attic" and handed out free copies of the book. As for Jockers' own recommendations, he declares, "I think 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' is an awesome way to start reading."
Mario Batali Foundation's partnership with the Books for Kids Foundation — which creates libraries, donates books and partners with literacy programs (with special emphasis on low-income and at-risk preschool-aged children).