SOURCE Pajama Program
After donating 2 million new pajamas and new books to children in NYC and the U.S. Pajama Program announces June 5th Grand Opening of New Reading Center and Literacy Advisory Board
NEW YORK, March 4, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Wednesday, June 5th, the New York-based Pajama Program will host a Grand Opening/Ribbon-Cutting ceremony with festivities for children and guests to announce the opening of its new Reading Center in New York City. The new Reading Center will be twice the size of the current facility and will be able to serve 3,000 children annually.
The widely respected non-profit reached a milestone last year by announcing it had provided two million new pajamas and new books to children in need across the country since its inception in 2001. The program serves children between the ages infant - 18 who live at or below the poverty level and are living in orphanages, group homes, homeless shelters and City and State-operated living quarters. Many of the children are in transition and/or waiting and hoping to be adopted.
The Reading Center plays an important role in helping local children with reading practice. Every year for the past ten years over 1,000 children in need have enjoyed special reading sessions with volunteers at the current space in mid-Manhattan and Pajama Program's two other Centers in Yonkers, NY and Middletown, NJ. The wait list of children to read at this NYC Reading Center is extensive and the Program is now going to be able to accommodate more of them.
Giving children their own books offers them a continued early reading experience and goes a long way in improving their reading level. Many of the children the Program serves have been removed from school at various times and do not have access to books to continue their reading practice; as a result, their reading skills are far lower than their peers. Providing these children reading practice and their own books offers them a continued early reading experience that they desperately need.
The Reading Center allows children to be placed with an appropriate reading group of 5-30 depending on the child's needs, and enjoy one-on-one reading sessions with volunteers. Reading sessions last 45 minutes and are followed by snacks, then the presentation of pre-chosen new pajamas and a new book for each child marked with his or her name.
"We want to make our reading time with the children count toward helping them with their reading and writing skills," states Pajama Program founder Genevieve Piturro. "Whatever we can do to support schools and families for these children when they visit is vital for their future learning abilities."
To demonstrate a serious, evolving commitment to life-long literacy, a new "Literacy Advisory Board" now leads Pajama Program forward. The board members, educational leaders from around the nation, consult upon and execute literacy related projects, supporting needed school and home connections that grow literacy. The board is busy designing assessments, providing professional development, creating systems, and building awareness and relationships in the educational community.
Carter's, the pajama manufacturer and a major sponsor for Pajama Program will name the Children's Gallery in the new Center and display the hundreds of cards and letters the program receives from the children when they get their gifts. Scholastic, also a major contributor will be featured in the Book Nook section of the main Reading Room.
Pajama Program meets the Better Business Bureau's 20 charity standards, the highest ranking for non-profits. In addition it has received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America's largest and most-utilized independent evaluator of charities. For more information visit the website: www.pajamaprogram.org
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