Bronx, Brooklyn Elementary Schools Receive $3 Million for New Books

The million-dollar investment was given to schools participating in this year's Universal Literacy initiative

Over a hundred of public elementary schools throughout the Bronx and Brooklyn will receive $3 million to purchase new books, New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced Thursday.

The $3.05 million will be used to build libraries for Kindergarten, first and second graders in 107 schools participating in the Universal Literacy program in Districts 9 and 10 in the Bronx and Districts 17 and 32 in Brooklyn. Individual schools' allocations range from $7,000 to $77,000.

"We are laser-focused on building a stronger early foundation for New York City's students," Fariña said. "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."

The program aims to achieve at least two-thirds of students to read proficiently by the end of second grade and 100 percent grade-level literacy among third graders by 2026, according to a statement by Mayor Bill de Blasio's office.

The city will expand the initiative to all 32 districts in the city by the 2018-19 school year, officials from the Department Of Education said.

Each of the four districts will receive 103 Universal Literacy coaches to support students in every school. Principals will work with coaches to purchase classroom library books and collections of texts for smaller group instruction in the three target frades.

In schools with large English Language Learner populations, the new books will encompass all of the languages spoken in school.

Seven out of 10 young children in New York City public schools lack basic reading skills, according to the DOE. A January report about the worst middle school districts in the city revealed that nearly 75 percent of students in East Harlem's District 4.

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