Two Bronx readers were honored on the field at Yankee Stadium for being “top readers” in the New York Public Library’s Summer Reading Challenge on Thursday, August 21.
The students, along with six others from Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island, were not necessarily the student who read the most books, but were each nominated by their library branch for their commitment to reading.
Before heading to the field, the readers met with NY Yankees pitcher David Phelps outside the clubhouse, who asked the kids about their favorite books, while signing memorabilia. Afterwards, the eight students headed up to the stands to enjoy the game with their families.
One of the Bronx readers said she read more than a hundred books over the summer. Jackelinne Claros, 12, said she visits the Kingsbridge Branch almost every weekend for up to four hours. This year was her third time participating in the NYPL Summer Reading Challenge, and she said she likes how the program rewards readers for their hard work.
But regardless of rewards, Claros said she has read prolificly throughout her childhood.
“Instead of asking for toys when I was younger, I always wanted a book,” said Claros.
She said she likes to read books that are based on movies instead of going to the theater, so that she can imagine how the movie plays out in her mind. One of the things she loves about reading is that it inspires creativity.
“I like that it opens up your imagination,” said Claros.
The other Bronx reader, Generose Johnson, 15, also said she enjoys picturing stories in her head.
“It’s like T.V.,” said Johnson.
She likes that reading can transport you into a different time and place.
“Sometimes you forget about the world around you,” she said.
Johnson said she thinks reading is good for people, and she would recommend it especially if they’re lonely.
“You don’t feel lonely any more,” she said. “You feel like the characters are with you, telling you their secrets.”
Combating Summer Slide
The goal of the Summer Reading Challenge is to keep kids reading while out of school to prevent “summer slide,” when students lose the knowledge they learned in school while on vacation, said Andrew Wilson with MyLibraryNYC, and NYPL partner.
“If they read over the summer they have less summer slide,” said Wilson.
During the Summer Challenge, the libraries offer other special programs to keep kids interested in coming back to libraries, said Wilson.
“We encourage them to read as much as they can and have fun while they do it,” said Wilson. “It translates to better grades and scores when they get back to school.”
The trip to Yankee Stadium is a well-deserved treat for the kids who are dedicated to reading, said Wilson.
“I think this is a great way to recognize their accomplishments,” he said.