My Very Own Library (MVOL) kicked off its Black Men Read Day at Camden Elementary School on Oct. 20. Principal Samuel Garrison of Camden Street Elementary School was joined by Newark Public School’s Superintendent Roger León, Deputy Superintendent Nicole T. Johnson, Board member Hasani Council, Mayor Ras J. Baraka of Newark, Duane Davis, National Director of MVOL, University of Chicago, and other honorable guests to join 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 traditional Newark 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 ten free books to every student in participating schools over the years,” said Superintendent Roger León. “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.”