Proskauer performs pro bono work for a number of innovative and impactful nonprofit organizations, including Beyond Kids Reading (BKR). This week we had the privilege of speaking with BKR’s founder Dr. Craig N. Horning.
There are more than one million students enrolled in New York City public schools, making it the largest school system in the United States. Yet each student enrolled is unique and enters school each day with varying needs. Thus, there is a general consensus that providing targeted and individualized support to students is crucial to their academic success. Furthermore, implementing this support early in their education can impact students during critical stages in their development and benefit their academic performance for years to come.
Since 2015, I have served on the junior board for Read Ahead, a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that New York City elementary school students have the skills they need for academic and life-long success. Read Ahead’s program is centered on one-on-one lunchtime reading-based mentoring sessions between students and volunteer mentors. Students are recommended by their teachers or school staff to participate in the program because they are reading below grade level, English Language Learners, or in need of social or emotional support to boost their self-confidence, their classroom performance, or their interest in reading.
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.