May 25, 2010

Sesame Street's "Maria" hosting special reading on Thursday, June 10 at a free day of fun sponsored by Target

Brooklyn Public Library's (BPL) annual Summer Reading Program kicks off Thursday, June 10 at Grand Army Plaza’s Central Library with a free, all-day family-friendly event starting at 10am, including a special appearance and reading by actress and author Sonia Manzano, best known as “Maria” from Sesame Street.

“Promoting literacy is a top priority for Brooklyn Public Library, and Summer Reading is one of the fun ways that we encourage both reluctant readers and booklovers to unwind and dive into reading at their library,” said Dionne Mack-Harvin, Executive Director of BPL. “BPL’s Summer Reading registration levels continue to be among the highest in New York State, and this year, we hope to set new records by offering another exciting line-up of book discussions and free activities and events. Participants will also be able to submit book reviews online, and best of all, win great prizes for reading.”

Brooklyn Public Library, the fifth largest library system in the country serving the 2.6 million residents of Brooklyn, boasts more than 100,000 participants in their children’s summer reading program each year. Along with all New York State libraries, this year’s summer reading program theme is “Make a Splash.” The program aims to keep the minds of kids and teens active while school is not in session by offering them book lists and activities throughout the summer.

“I am excited to be a part of Brooklyn Public Library’s Summer Reading program, and hope families will take advantage of the day off from school to visit their local library. It’s the perfect way to kick-off the summer,” says Manzano.

According to research conducted by various educators and posted on the New York State Education Department’s Web site, it is estimated that school summer breaks will cause the average student to lose up to one month of instruction, with disadvantaged students being disproportionately affected. This is what many researchers have often referred to as the “summer slide.” The research demonstrates the critical importance that the early development of summer reading habits can play in providing the foundation for later success.
“Target understands the importance of engaging children in educational activities throughout the summer months to avoid learning loss,” said Laysha Ward, president, community relations, Target, which is the lead sponsor of this year’s Summer Reading Program. “We are thrilled to partner with Brooklyn Public Library, and hope the program inspires parents and caring adults to nurture their children’s love of learning.”
BPL also offers an Adult Summer Reading Program which invites library users to enjoy entertaining author talks, participate in book discussions and borrow books featured on BPL’s Adult Summer Reading book list.

Local Brooklyn celebrities such as Maggie Gyllennhaal, Anne Hathaway, Steve Buscemi, David Blaine, Steve Guttenberg, Adrian Grenier, Constantine Maroulis, and Michael Badalucco are also encouraging both children and adults to open a book this summer by providing their favorite reads. Each week these celebrity book lists will be posted on the Brooklyn Public Library Blog, “No Shush Zone,” at

In addition to Target as the lead sponsor, Brooklyn Public Library’s Summer Reading 2010 program includes: Barclays/Nets Community Alliance, Astoria Federal Savings, National Grid Foundation and Con Edison have also provided generous sponsorship support. Additional funding is being provided by Federal Library Services and Technology Act funds awarded to the New York State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. In-kind support is provided by Con Edison, Scholastic, Sesame Workshop and Tops Trumps USA.

Summer Reading “Make a Splash” Block Party Schedule
Thursday, June 10th, 10AM - 7:30PM

10 – 10:45 AM: Board of Education plays children’s music

11:00 AM: Official Kick-Off and Celebrity Reading
Sonia Manzano kicks-off Brooklyn Public Library’s Summer Reading program and reads to local children. BPL’s Executive Director and Elected Local Officials will be in attendance and on-hand for interviews.

12:00 – 4:00 PM: Balloon Creations

12:15 – 1 PM: Live music from Astrograss

1:30 – 2:15 PM: Music from China performs

2:30 – 3:15 PM: Dancing demonstration from the KIPP Academy Capoeira Performers

3:15 – 4:00 PM: Family Dance Party with local DJ

6:30 – 7:30 PM: Book Release Party for Emily Horner
Come meet BPL librarian, Emily Horner, and celebrate the release of her first teen novel, A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend.

7:00 PM: Music producer, author and photographer Hank O’Neal will discuss his career, which will be followed by a musical performance.

Other Activities Throughout Day:
- Arts and crafts
- Sidewalk drawing and hopscotch
- Face painting
- Nets Mascot Sly the fox
- Kidsmobile
(Time/location of events subject to change due to weather)

Throughout the summer, children and adults can also participate in many Summer Reading programs at all BPL neighborhood libraries. Following are a few notable programs, and for a full schedule of events, please visit

Adult Summer Reading Events:
Book Discussion: Let the Great World Spin
Monday, June 7, 6:15 PM
Clinton Hill Library, 380 Washington Avenue, 718.398.8713

Tuesday, June 22, 6:30 PM
Brooklyn Heights Library, 280 Cadman Plaza West, 718.623.7000

Book Discussion: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales
Tuesday, June 8, 2 PM
Cortelyou Library, 1305 Cortelyou Road, 718.693.7763

Book Discussion: That Old Cape Magic
Monday, June 14, 6:30 PM
Sunset Park Library, 5108 4th Avenue, 728.567.2806

Book Discussion: Happy Family
Thursday, June 17, 1:30 PM
Kensington Library, 410 Ditmas Boulevard, 718.435.9431

Book Discussion: The Time Traveler's Wife
Thursday, June 24, 2 PM
Central Library, Second Floor Meeting Room, 10 Grand Army Plaza, 718.230.2100

Book Discussion: Girls of Riyadh
Saturday, June 26, 11:15 AM
Walt Whitman Library, 93 Saint Edwards Street, 718.935.0244

Children’s Summer Reading Events:
Summer Reading Kickoff with the Striking Viking Story Pirates!
Sign up for Summer Reading and enjoy free activities and fun. The Story Pirates perform sketches and musical comedy based entirely on stories written by elementary schoolers! Pirate treasure, furry monsters, flying cats and more!
Where: Williamsburgh Library, 240 Division Avenue, 718.302.3485
When:Thursday, June 10, 4 PM

Water Safety Workshop for Kids and Teens
Get ready for summer by attending a water safety course with the American Red Cross.
Where:Borough Park Library, 1265 43rd Street, 718.437.4085
When:Tuesday, Aug 10, 1 PM

Summer Reading Closing Celebration
Celebrate the end of Summer Reading 2010 with special crafts and giveaways. For kids and teens.
Where:Gerritsen Beach Library, 2808 Gerritsen Avenue, 718.368.1435
When:Wednesday, Aug 18, 2 PM

Summer Reading Online Book Reviews
Write online book reviews for titles from our Summer Reading booklist.
Where: Dyker Library, 8202 13th Avenue, 718.748.6261
When: Thursdays, 2:15 PM

Game Time
Play aquatic adventures this summer at your library!
Where:Bushwick Library, 340 Bushwick Avenue, 718.602.1348
When:Fridays, 2:30 PM

Splash Time Movies
Keep cool while watching water-themed movies.
Where:Bushwick Library, 340 Bushwick Avenue, 718.602.1348
When:Thursdays, Jul 8 & 22, 3 PM & Thursdays, Aug 5 & 19, 3 PM

Make a Splash Movie: Finding Nemo
Catch a free screening of this father-son underwater adventure movie.
Where:Williamsburgh Library, 240 Division Avenue, 718.302.3485
When:Wednesday, Jul 14, 2 PM

Rock the Boat:
Do activities and experiments to learn more about water conservation.
Where:Gerritsen Beach Library, 2808 Gerritsen Avenue, 718.368.1435
When:Wednesdays, 4 PM
No session on: August 25, 2010

Water Activities with Science
Make a splash while learning scientific experiments!
Where:Saratoga Library, 8 Thomas S. Boyland, 718.573.5224
When:Tuesdays, 3 PM

Sign up for Summer Reading at your library or online at beginning June 10. There, you’ll find booklists, can write your own book reviews, get reading rewards by earning virtual badges and more.

Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) is an independent library system for the 2.6 million residents of Brooklyn. It is the fifth largest library system in the United States with 60 neighborhood libraries around the borough. BPL offers free programs and services for all ages and stages of life, including a huge selection of books in more than 30 languages, author talks, literacy programs and public computers. BPL’s eResources, such as eBooks and eVideos, catalog information and free homework help, are available to customers of all ages 24 hours a day at our website:

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Brooklyn Public Library is an independent New York City library system serving the borough of Brooklyn. It is the fifth largest in the United States. Its Central Library, Business Library, and 58 neighborhood libraries offer free information, programs and computer access to people of all ages. You can reach the Library's resources of over 70 reference databases, catalog information and news 24 hours a day at