I am a public school kid of a public school teacher. I remember learning to read from the back of a cereal box with my mom as I ate breakfast each morning. Encouraged by after-school teachers and librarians, I thought I would just read every book, starting with the authors whose names ended in A and working my way to Z. The help of caring adults was invaluable in gaining the confidence I needed to succeed in school and life. Because of the encouragement and support I had at a young age, I am still an avid reader today-of more than just food labels.
So many kids struggle to read. Without caring adults to help them on the path to becoming life-long readers, it is hard for children to develop the resilience to overcome intellectual challenges. When my daughter began pre-K and had trouble reading, it was the support from caring adults around her that helped her succeed.
I want every kid to have the attention and encouragement that my daughter and I have had. That's why when my friend and Proskauer partner, Andy Bettwy, told me about the Read Ahead organization, a group that provides reading-based mentoring to kids in New York City public elementary schools, I couldn't wait to get involved.
As a board member of Read Ahead since 2012, my commitment to the organization has grown as I've seen firsthand how the consistent presence of a caring adult can influence a child's life. When I walk into PS 51, it's like taking a deep breath and reconnecting with the community at large....