Today, Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced that the 107 elementary schools participating in the Universal Literacy initiative this year are receiving $3.05 million to build classroom libraries for Kindergarten, 1 st , and 2 nd grades. Chancellor Fariña made the announcement at PS 375 in Brooklyn, where she celebrated World Read Aloud Day with a 2 nd -grade class.
“We are laser-focused on building a stronger early foundation for New York City’s students, and that’s reflected in our investment in Pre-K for All, Universal Literacy, and Algebra for All,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña . “This $3 million investment will help strengthen our students’ early learning by increasing access to quality, age-appropriate books and building a love of reading. I am also excited to celebrate and foster a love of reading through World Read Aloud Day.”
This year, the Universal Literacy initiative – one of the initiatives in Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda – is being implemented in all 107 elementary schools in Districts 9 and 10 in the Bronx, and Districts 17 and 32 in Brooklyn. There are 103 Universal Literacy reading coaches supporting these 107 elementary schools. The goal of the initiative is for, within six years, at least two-thirds of students to read proficiently by the end of 2 ndgrade, with the target of 100 percent of all 2 nd -graders reading at grade level by 2026. By the 2018-19 school year, this initiative will expand to all 32 New York City school districts.
Principals will work with their Universal Literacy reading coaches to purchase classroom library books as well as collections of texts for small group instruction in the three target grades. “Big books” may also be purchased. In schools with large English Language Learner populations, new books will reflect all of the languages spoken in the school.
The allocation is $105.61 per student; schools will receive a share of the $3.05 million based on their number of students in the three target grades. Individual schools’ allocations range from about $7,000 to $77,000. This is the first allocation of its kind; allocations for classroom library and book purchases will be part of the Universal Literacy initiative as it expands to additional districts next year and in 2018-19.