It was a good day for young bookworms-in-training at Pier 1 at Brooklyn Bridge Park, which hosted the Fifth Annual Community Festival on October 5.
This year, the activities featured a new educational event entitled, “Read NYC: A Festival for Brighter Futures,” which focused on teaching children not only to read but also develop a passion for it. The activity also helped raise awareness for the ”Campaign for Grade Level Reading,” a nonprofit foundation that dedicates itself to helping low-income families succeed in school and making sure that children reach grade level reading by the end of the third grade.
“Two thousand books were given away and over 30 non-profit organizations were on hand to provide information and resources to festival-goers,” said Eric Katzman, account executive of The TASC group, who served as a spokesperson for the event.
But reading wasn’t the only thing that families could enjoy at Pier 1. Elmo of “Sesame Street” fame made an appearance, as well as a new cast member from the show, Armando. Clifford the Big Red Dog also posed for photos with the kids. Musical acts included the world roots band, “Brown Rice Family” and “Son de Brooklyn.”
Attendees were also able to meet and practice dancing with the Brooklyn Nets cheerleaders, the Brooklynettes. “The festival was buzzing as everyone enjoyed live performances, music and sports activities,” Katzman said.
People responded to the event in a big way as 5,000 were in attendance for the Festival, which spanned four hours, from mid-morning to mid-afternoon. “We were overwhelmed and thrilled by the amount of participation in the festival this year,” exclaimed Katzman.
The Community Festival was organized by both United Way of New York City and Skanska. United Way of New York City has operated for more than 70 years for low-income families.