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Read Aloud 15 Minutes Logo


For Immediate Release:      April 14, 2015

Information:                      Joy Testa Cinquino, Assistant Deputy Director, Development & Communications, 716-858-7182 


Read Aloud 15 Campaign Kickoff

Today the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library System along with local officials and students from the Jewish Community Center and Bennett Park Montessori School kicked off “Read Aloud 15”,​a new campaign which encourages adults to read aloud to a child for 15 minutes every day.

Joining Library System Director Mary Jean Jakubowski and County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz were New York State Senator Timothy Kennedy; Erie County Legislator Barbara Miller Williams; Erie County Legislator Lynne Dixon; Erie County Majority Leader Joseph Lorigo; Erie County Legislator Ted Morton; Buffalo Common Councilmember Michael LoCurto; Buffalo Common Councilmember Demone Smith; Anne Ryan from Read to Succeed; Tara Vogel from Literacy New York; Michelle Kavanaugh from WNY Stem Hub; Karen Rybicki from the Erie County Department of Social Services; Randy Camp from Back to Basics Ministries; Joan Simmons from the Niagara Frontier Movement for the Advocacy of African American Human Rights, Inc.; and Cynnie Gaasch from Young Audiences Western New York. 

Read Aloud is a national initiative which began in 2008 with a goal to make reading aloud every day for at least 15 minutes the new standard in child care.  When every child is read to for 15 minutes every day from birth, more children will be ready to learn when they enter kindergarten, more children will have the literacy skills needed to succeed in school, and more children will be prepared for a productive and meaningful life after school. 

According to a 2003 Hart and Risley report, some American children will hear 30 million fewer words than their peers before the age of four. Studies have shown the number of words a child knows when entering kindergarten is predictive of future learning success.   

Library Director Jakubowski said, “This is easy advice for parents to follow. All you need is a book - free, with a free library card. There is no better way to spend quality time with your child. The benefits are great - your child is likely to learn to read sooner, think better, imagine more richly, discover more quickly and become a passionate and lifelong reader.”

Following today’s announcement, the local leaders each read a children’s book to the Pre-K students and juggler / entertainer Nels Ross of In Jest performed.

Locally, the 37 Buffalo & Erie County Public Libraries and more than two dozen community organization partners are spreading the message with posters, stickers, and social media messaging.   For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/BufReadAloud.  Local organizations interested in participating should contact the Library at 716-858-7182. 


Local partners include:

Erie County

The City of Buffalo

The Belle Center

Bennett Park Montessori School

Buffalo & Erie County Public Libraries

Buffalo Public Schools

Buffalo Public Schools Adult Education Division

Buffalo Common Council

Cheektowaga Youth & Recreation Department

Erie County Department of Social Services

Erie County Legislature

Erie County Office for the Disabled

Erie County Clerk’s office –Department of Motor Vehicles

Fun4KidsBuffalo family website

Jewish Community Center

Literacy New York Buffalo Niagara

Lorraine Elementary BPS #72

Monkey See, Monkey Do children’s book store

New York State Senator Timothy Kennedy’s office

Niagara Frontier Movement for the Advocacy of African-American Human Rights Project Flight

Read to Succeed

Stop the Violence Coalition

Theatre of Youth Company

United States Chess Federation of Buffalo

WBEN Radio

Western New York STEM Hub

Western New York Public Broadcasting

WKSE Radio

Young Audiences of Western New York