Early literacy is the foundation of future success.

City’s First Readers engages parents, caregivers, and communities across New York City to ensure all children develop critical early literacy skills.

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About
City’s First Readers

City’s First Readers, an initiative of the New York City Council, is a collaboration of nonprofits and libraries that work together to create opportunities for community driven early literacy programs that benefit children and families from all New York City neighborhoods.

I never even used to tell her colors like go get a yellow book, a green book, the book with the tomatoes, and now I find myself doing that…

Featured Neighborhood Events

Find free events to learn, play, and discover in your neighborhood

14 May, 10:30 am – 11:00 am

Family Storytime: Brother READS

203 West 115th Street
Manhattan, NY 10026

Join the staff at Harry Belafonte–115th Street for a live, online program with songs, rhymes, and favorite read-aloud books led by members of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Ideal for caregivers with children of different ages. Storytime is a program for parents / caregivers and their children. Both the parent / caregiver and the child must be present during the entire program: unaccompanied adults or children will be asked to leave the program. When registering for this program, parents/caregivers should use their name and information—you don’t need a library card to participate! This event will take place over Google Meet. You must register with your email address in order to receive the link to participate. The link will be sent to you by email approximately one day before the discussion. You will need a device with audio and/or video and an internet connection to join.

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15 May, 10:30 am – 11:00 am

Online Family Story Time at the Castle Hill Library

947 Castle Hill Avenue
Bronx, NY 10473

Join us for a live, online program with songs, rhymes, and favorite read-aloud books as we show you that storytime is fun for the whole family. Ideal for caregivers with multiple-aged children. Storytime is a program for parents/caregivers and their children. Both the parent/caregiver and the child must be present during the entire program: unaccompanied adults or children will be asked to leave the program. When registering for this program, parents/caregivers should use their name and information–you don’t need a library card to participate!

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15 May, 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

BPL Outdoors: Cooper Park

, NY

We are bringing the library outdoors – to Cooper Park, at the corner of Maspeth and Morgan Avenues! Join staff from your local branches (DeKalb, Washington Irving, Leonard, and Greenpoint, plus more) for a safe and fun festival in the park. You can make or renew a library card at our Bookmobile, and even check out books! Brooklyn Public Library’s own Test and Trace staff will be providing masks and information about COVID and the vaccines. We’ll have tables with information about library services and summer reading, plus the following community partners: Friends of Cooper Park Plants for the People Clean Bushwick Initiative RiseBoro Community Partnership – Bushwick Grows Community Farm Throughout the day (12 – 4pm) we’ll have a scavenger hunt to help you explore the park! Additional activities will be scheduled, including: storytimes in English and Spanish, plus a self-guided storywalk park clean-up with community partners tree identification workshop with community partners plant workshop with community partners No registration is required. Masks are required (ages 2 and up) and physical distancing will be enforced. The festival will be based in the center of the park, by the bathrooms. Please feel free to email llebwohl@bklynlibrary.org with any questions!

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15 May, 11:00 am – 11:45 am

Online Family Storytime in Japanese! オンラインにほんごストーリータイム

455 Fifth Avenue
Manhattan, NY 10016

Join children’s librarians, Nobuko and Keiko for a live, online program with songs, rhymes, and favorite read-aloud books as we show you that storytime is fun for the whole family with small children. This storytime is conducted entirely in Japanese, and while everyone who is curious is welcome to join, parent/caregiver and the child must be present during the entire program. If you have any questions, please email nobukowilson@nypl.org. Storytime is a program for parents/caregivers and their children. Both the parent/caregiver and the child must be present during the entire program: unaccompanied adults or children will be asked to leave the program. When registering for this program, parents/caregivers should use their name and information–you don’t need a library card to participate! オンラインにほんごストーリータイム! オンラインでのライブのストーリータイムです。図書館員の大橋のぶこ、杉本けいこと一緒に、日本語での遊び歌、絵本の読み聞かせ、簡単なゲームなどで遊びましょう!小さいお子さんのいるご家族みんなで楽しんでいただけます。ご質問など、nobukowilson@nypl.orgまでEメールを下さい。 NYPLのstorytimeは、保護者とそのお子様のためのプログラムです。プログラム中は保護者とお子様どちらも参加してくださいますよう、お願いいたします。お子様を同伴しない大人の方、または保護者の同伴無しのお子様の参加は申し訳ありませんが退室していただくことになっています。プログラムの登録は保護者の方のお名前と情報でお願いいたします。参加には図書館カードは必要ありません!

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Resources for Parents

Get tips, advice, and resources for supporting early literacy skills

Latest News

Read news, press, and updates from City’s First Readers Partners