Promoting Literacy One Book at A Time

Over 1,000 books were distributed to the Spring Creek Towers Community

Over 1,000 books were distributed to the Spring Creek Towers’Community (SCT). 

The Brooklyn Reading Council (BRC) kicked off the first day of public school in New York City with a spectacular book giveaway, distributing over 1,000 free books to the Spring Creek Towers community.

It was reported by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Institute of Literacy that approximately 774 million adults around the world are illiterate. Battling illiteracy one book at a time, the BRC actively encourages people of all ages to read and advocates for more literacy programs that are both educational and fun.

On September 9th, just before the morning school bells rang, reigning in students for the first day of school, parents and their children were able to pick up a handful of free books. Some grabbed mysteries and action packed adventures, while others snagged copies of fantasy and sci-fi novels.

Reading is a fun family activity at Patricia Brown’s home, where she encourages her three children to explore various genres of literature. “I think this book drive is important because it shows parents that reading is a joint effort, and a family activity,” she said.

Brown’s eight-year-old son, Nicodemus, loves science, so he was happy to find books on thunderstorms, spiders and insects. “I am scared of thunder, so I thought maybe if I knew more about them it would be less scary,” he said. Aside from his love of science, he also looked through several graphic novels, such as Star Wars, the Amazing Spiderman and the Mighty Thor. Nicodemus says he thought the book giveaway was fun because of the different types of books that were available.

Throughout the day, dozens of readers of all ages sifted through books piled onto several tables stationed in front of the Professional Center in the SCT shopping center. They were assisted by energetic and helpful volunteers from BRC, the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. /Theta Chapter and the Popular Literary Club, where they not only gave away books, but also bookmarks, pamphlets about literacy, resources for writing, parenting tips and teacher materials to anyone who asked.

For the past six years, Yvette Grant, a NYC public school administrator, has helped coordinate the book giveaway, which is a part of the groundbreaking campaign, International Literacy Day. The campaign was created in 1967 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to spread awareness for the importance of literacy and education. This year’s theme is “Literacy and Sustainable Societies,” which emphasizes how literacy increases one’s ability to make decisions regarding a person’s economic and social development, and the effective global coordination to ensure literacy efforts.

BRC co-presidents, Pearl Elie and Sharon Kohn have been volunteering at the International Literacy Day book giveaway event in Spring Creek Towers for many years. Both Elie and Kohn believe that the event “gives kids a kick start to reading and learning by distributing books on the first day of school.” It also helps to provide suggestions for effective reading /writing tips at all age levels for parents.

The BRC received book donations from various community groups, Starrett City Tenants Association, the Office of Public Affairs/ Community Relations, Friends National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa/Theta Chapter, Popular Literary Club, International Read-ing Association, the Boys and Girl Scouts of America and others.

The event is one of many literacy activities conducted by the BRC to find out more visit http://brooklyn or email

By Amanda Moses