Tony MarxThe NYPL has 20,000 kids who visit our neighborhood branches every day. Some days as a kid in Inwood, I was one of those.
For some of these students, our branches are a place to do homework or attend programs. For others, they are comfortable places to hang out with their friends or use the computers. And for all of them, the library provides a place to stay safe after school.
Our library system serves a unique function in the lives of students that cannot be understated. Knowing this, NYPL, along with the Brooklyn and Queens Public Libraries, has launched a series of innovative partnerships with the public schools of NYC. With MyLibraryNYC, we are offering schools – whose own library collections all too often lack the resources to meet the needs of students and teachers – the ability to access our 17 million circulating books. Teachers can order up to 100 copies of any book or book sets that complement their curriculum, all delivered to their classrooms for free.
After School Programs at NYPLThe Library also works to support our education system by supplying teachers with unique resources for curricular units of all kinds. Last summer, some of the city’s finest educators worked with our curators to find primary source materials and other engaging resources to enhance their lesson plans. The ability of our repository to enliven learning will reach even beyond the limits of our great city, as we continue to make them freely available online.
But all of this is still not enough.
In order for students to succeed to their fullest ability, they need a system of support that extends beyond the school day. This issue is especially acute for the most underserved among New York City children who do not have access to public or private afterschool programs. With thousands of young students already visiting our branches everyday, we need to provide more opportunities for them to learn and succeed outside the classroom. We need to offer a series of innovative, engaging and impactful enrichment programs.
And so we are launching system-wide afterschool programs to do just that.
These programs allow us to encourage learning and expand students’ horizons even after the final school bell rings. So far, we have out-of-school time programs in 10 of our branches across Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island. These programs provide students of all ages the opportunity to pursue their interests in a structured and enriched learning environment. We currently offer a wide range of programs that address a diverse set of concerns. Participants can improve their own literacy skills as they learn to tutor younger readers in our Literacy Leaders program. Or, they can engage in innovative problem solving through technology with the Innovation Lab. And our Enrichment Zones offer targeted tutoring, online learning and other enrichment activities for children who need formal homework help.
Thanks to a generous $10 million pledge from Arthur Koenig, we will continue to develop and support these and other educational programming initiatives for years to come.
After School Programs at NYPLAdditionally, we recently announced an incredible $15 million donation to the NYPL branches from the Helen Gurley Brown Trust - the largest gift ever of its kind. Our partnership will help us launch NYPL BridgeUp, a groundbreaking education and antipoverty program to prepare at-risk youth for success in high school, college and beyond. NYPL BridgeUp is beginning in five of our branches in some of the city’s most underserved neighborhoods. We will recruit students beginning in eighth grade and coach them through each step of high school and the college admissions process, as we support their education and improve their chances for success outside of school.
With all of these programs, the Library becomes an active partner to champion the education of every student who enrolls, both in their school classrooms and in their local branches.
As it was for me when I was a child, the Library is a special place for the students of our city. Thanks to our innovative and ever-growing education initiatives and partnerships, NYPL is stepping up to the plate. We strive to be the most impactful afterschool program in the nation so that we can provide students with every opportunity for success that they deserve.