Black Men Read Day kicks off at Newark elementary schools

Photo Courtesy of Nancy J. Deering

NEWARK, NJ — My Very Own Library kicked off its Black Men Read Day at Camden Elementary School in Newark on Oct. 20. Principal Samuel Garrison was joined by Superintendent of Schools Roger León, Deputy Superintendent Nicole T. Johnson, Board of Education member Hasani Council, Mayor Ras J. Baraka, MVOL national Director Duane Davis and others, who welcomed men from the community to read to elementary school students.

Students at Camden Street School, Michelle Obama Elementary School, Hawkins Street School, Quitman Street School and Ridge Street School were treated to a day of reading as part of this national program, conducted in conjunction with Scholastic Book Fairs, a division of Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books. 

My Very Own Library is an initiative Anne Feeley began in Newark to provide free books to children in Newark’s public schools. The program started in six schools and is now in every Newark Board of Education elementary school. Twice during the school year, children receive five free books through a Scholastic book fair. Schools can also access in-person and virtual author visits, and receive grants for family literacy events.

“My Very Own Library has long been a staunch supporter of the Newark Public Schools, as evidenced by their commitment to providing 10 free books to every student in participating schools over the years,” León said. “And the opportunity to be read to by black male leaders will help them expand their vocabulary and develop essential communication and social skills that are key to being successful in life.”