The Greenpoint YMCA held its annual Literacy Day last week on July 11, but many children in the neighborhood know it as Summer Reading Day.
YMCA campsites celebrated the event with a number of academic activities, games and reading to hone in and improve basic skills that children need to advance to the next level.
“When parents read to their children it inspires them to read on their own,” said Tatiana Terzouli, director of fund development and communications at the Greenpoint Y. “It also gives the children a variety of ways to improve their reading skills through their activities.”
This year, the event was held at St. Stanislaus Kostka, located at Grand Avenue at 61st Street in Maspeth; at P.S. 84, located at 250 Berry St. in Williamsburg; and at the Greenpoint YMCA’s gymnasium on Meserole Avenue.
Students set up picnic blankets indoors due to the rain, as Y counselors read stories like “If Anything Goes Wrong at the Zoo,” “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” and “Knuffle Bunny,” to the group of four and five-year-old children.
Angela Speakman, director of early childhood at the YMCA, stressed the importance of keeping children involved in the summer months.
“Why is Literacy Day important? Because it gives a chance for all of us to take the time out of our busy day and enjoy the gift of books and the gift of reading as a fun activity, not as part of a curriculum,” Speakman said. “It allows us time to delve deeper into our favorite books, especially during the summer months when students are out of school.”
Amy Kesler, school specialist at WORD bookstore, read “The Lost Thing” by Shaun Tan to the children
“It was really fun and the kids really seemed excited about their summer reading,” Kesler said.