Literary Brooklyn

September 16, 2011

Literary Brooklyn    


Join us at the Brooklyn Book Festival Sunday, September 18! 

From Walt Whitman to Jennifer Egan, and Beyond

Cultivating the Next Generation of Brooklyn Writers and Booklovers

Brooklyn’s culturally rich and vibrant neighborhoods have always been home to great writers: Truman Capote’s Brooklyn Heights, Paul Auster’s Park Slope, Edwidge Danticat’s Crown Heights, and Jonathan Lethem’s Boerum Hill. But our beloved borough is also a haven for great readers, bookstores, and 60 branches of the Brooklyn Public Library.

These days, Brooklyn’s literary spirit is stronger than ever (six 2011 Pulitzer Prize winners live here!), and the Brooklyn Community Foundation aims to foster that enthusiasm throughout all of our communities.

Through our Arts for All and Education and Youth Achievement funds, the Foundation backs the work of writing workshops and afterschool programs—like the New York Writers Coalition, 826NYC, and Girls Write Now—that inspire and cultivate writers and readers of every age and background, encouraging them to tell their stories, fall in love with the written word, and imagine a life full of possibilities.

Booklovers Aren’t Born, They’re Built by Inspiration and Example

In New York’s most literary borough, it may surprise you to learn that many of our communities don’t have bookstores, and although they have access to public libraries, many children have never had a book to call their own.

Books!That’s why the Foundation has been supporting the expansion of the My Own Book Program, an effective and innovative approach to literacy created 12 years ago by philanthropist Burt Freeman through his family foundation.

Through MOB, third graders are given a $50 allowance to spend on a bookstore field trip. Beforehand, teachers and volunteers discuss genres and make reading lists to guide the students in creating their own home library. The trip instills a sense of pride in selecting, purchasing and owning their new books.

Burt FreemanMr. Freeman points out that Studies show an important link between having books in the home and a child's chance of future success in life. We aim to create that chance of success for those who might not have the opportunity any other way.”

What books does he recommend? “The Chronicles of Narnia and the Magic Tree House are terrific series for young readers!”

MOB is looking for a couple of good volunteers in Brooklyn! Learn more about how you can help here.

“This year’s field trip…has quickly become the highlight of their third grade experience for all our students. My Own Book Fund did not simply give money to our children to buy books. It became the hook for the joy of reading, pleasure of making choices, and their identity as independent readers and book owners."
- Elif Gure-Perez, Principal, PS 316/The Elijah G. Stroud School

Call It “Book-lyn”

Brooklyn Book FestivalThis Sunday, September 18th, Brooklyn will open its doors to dozens of authors, poets, playwrights and journalists from around the world – and thousands of their fans – for the annual Brooklyn Book Festival at Borough Hall and Cadman Plaza. And as a festival sponsor, we’re helping to expand the festivities across the borough through “Bookend Events” this weekend, to give even more Brooklynites access to the unparalleled programming on offer.

Stop by our table on the central plaza from 10am-6pm Sunday to learn more about our work and how you can get invol
ved with many of the volunteer opportunities available at literary nonprofits in Brooklyn—and answer Brooklyn literary trivia for a chance to win “Do Good Right Here” swag!

In addition, Brooklyn Community Foundation’s Stuart Post (who administers our Arts for All grantmaking) will introduce Evan Hughes, author of the new book Literary Brooklyn, at 1pm on the North Stage, for even more Brooklyn trivia fun.

See you there!