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The Jamaica Read-a-thon 2019

October 21, 2019 @ 7:00 am - 7:00 pm


It is said that in grades 1 through 3 children learn to read, and after grade 3 they read to learn. In other words, if you aren’t reading proficiently by the end of the 3rd grade, you’re screwed!

Far too many of the children in Community Boards 12 and 13 are not reading proficiently by the end of the 3rd grade. In fact, at last check only nine of the 43 elementary schools in Community Boards 12 and 13 had ELA pass rates greater than 50%.

This is precisely why A Better Jamaica launched Jamaica Reads ten years ago. Jamaica Reads deploys senior citizens to two local elementary schools — P.S. 36 and P.S. 80 — to provide one-on-one tutoring to 1st graders struggling with the acquisition of their reading skills.
In working with the students that we work with, our goal is simple: To move students who begin the school year reading below grade level, to at or above grade level by the end of the school year.

Each child that we work with receives 1.5 hours of one-on-one tutoring each week.

As you might imagine, our work makes a difference; but it costs money to deliver these services. Our work at P.S. 36 is supported financially by an allocation made by New York City Council Member I. Daneek Miller. Our work at P.S. 80 is supported financially by New York City Council Member Adrienne Adams.

Our goal is to provide our services in each school for the entire school year — October through May. In order to do this, we need to raise additional funds.

We launched the Jamaica Read-a-thon last year so that anyone in the community who thinks that 1st grade literacy is a good idea could support our efforts by making a contribution.

Because so many of you stepped up to the support plate last year, we’re thrilled to announce the second annual Jamaica Read-a-thon.
On Monday, October 21st, from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, we’ll once again deploy 48 local celebrities to the token booth level of the Jamaica Center Parsons/Archer subway station to read his or her favorite children’s book(s) for 15 minutes each.

Our sincere hope is that you’ll acknowledge their generosity by performing a generous act of your own. By clicking on the “Register” button above, you can register your support for one or more of our local celebrity readers by making a contribution.

Thus far, the following local celebrity readers have signed up to read / raise funds:
Andrew Clarke
Bobby Mays
Cathie Wright-Lewis
Claudette Joy Spence
Daniel Carlton
David Bucknor
Deb Ruffins
Gail Lewis
Greg Mays
Jackie Wilson
Jennifer Furioli
Kangela Moore
Kelsey Brow
Linda Derry
Ron Turner
Sonia Nahar Deane
Sophia K-Franklin
Sophia Walsh-Newman
Tatum Boothe

On behalf of the students that we are fortunate to work with, thank you in advance for your support!

By the way, we’re still recruiting local celebrity readers so if you’d like to become one, visit https://forms.gle/CQpwdRz9JCAFP6X1A to sign up.

Should you have any questions, contact me via text or phone at (718) 657-2605, or via e-mail at [email protected]
If each local celebrity reader raises $100 or more — that’s five friends giving $20 each or ten friends giving $10 each — we’ll raise $4,800. Woohoo!

Thank you so much for your support.

Greg Mays, Founder
A Better Jamaica

P.S. Our ultimate goal is to be in every Community Board 12 or 13 school that doesn’t already have a supplemental reading program. Help us get there!


October 21, 2019
7:00 am - 7:00 pm
Event Categories:
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A Better Jamaica
(718) 657-2605


Jamaica Center Subway Station (Mezzanine Level)
Archer Avenue @ Parsons Boulevard (Token Booth Level)
Jamaica, 11432
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