What is Literacy: a Read-a-thon Event

Read-a-thon PosterYesterday’s Brooke Jackman Foundation Read-a-thon was fantastic. There were so many varied and wonderful talents getting kids excited about books and reading. The foundation has given away almost 100,000 books to kids in need throughout New spoken word poets Justin Long-Moton and Ishmael IslamYork city since it’s inception in 2001.

Yesterday I was honored to be a part of its second annual Brooke Jackman Foundation Read-a-thon – a Celebration of Literacy and Hope at the Winter Garden in the World Financial Center in Lower Manhattan. It was hosted by Arts World Financial Center (www.artsworldfinancialcenter.com), celebrating the positive, transformative power of literacy. The Read-a-thon celebrated the hope born from the tragic events of 9/11 and the resiliency of New York City and its children.

It started with a one-hour stage show featuring performances by the popular teen rockers Care Bears on Fire, spoken word poets Justin Long-Moton and Ishmael Islam from Urban Word NYC (see the video? and they’ve agreed to come on the podcast!) and the Bari Koral Family Rock Band, as well as readings by Isaiah Sheffer, founder of Symphony Space, andWNYC’s John Schaefer and Stephanie Calmenson. We also had readings by elected officials, entertainers, and some of the uniformed heroes of 9/11.

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