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Reading buddies help NY kids avoid summer ‘brain drain’

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(PIX11) – Children in Yonkers are avoiding the "summer slide" thanks to JCY Westchester Community Partner's summer reading buddies.

Chuck Lesnick, a member of the organization’s advisory board, said the program has been so successful they now have a “cohort of children” who started with summer reading buddies as a little kids and have now graduated high school.

For the past nine years, more than 700 children and nearly 250 volunteers have participated in the program, which takes place at the Mount Vernon Public Library and Riverfront Library in Yonkers.

“The children are benefitting so much from this program. We know it’s working because they’re leaving with books in their hands and smiles on their faces,” said Edward Falcone, deputy director of the Riverfront Library Administration.

During the two-hour session, children also touch upon vocabulary and comprehension.

“Many of our children have English as a second language. It’s not just Spanish. There are like 32 different languages spoken in the Yonkers public schools,” said Dr. Michael Yazurlo, superintendent with the Yonkers Board of Education.

For information on how you can volunteer with the group, click here.


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