File #: Res 0515-2004    Version: * Name: Declaring September as "NYC Reads Month"
Type: Resolution Status: Filed
Committee: Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations
On agenda: 8/12/2004
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution declaring the month of September as “NYC Reads Month.”
Sponsors: Letitia James, Tracy L. Boyland, Leroy G. Comrie, Jr., Lewis A. Fidler, Sara M. Gonzalez, Michael E. McMahon, Michael C. Nelson, Annabel Palma, James Sanders, Jr., Larry B. Seabrook, David I. Weprin, Helen D. Foster, Robert Jackson
Council Member Sponsors: 13
Attachments: 1. Committee Report, 2. Hearing Transcript

Res. No. 515


Resolution declaring the month of September as “NYC Reads Month.” 


By Council Members James, Boyland, Comrie, Fidler, Gonzalez, McMahon, Nelson, Palma, Sanders, Seabrook, Weprin, Foster and Jackson


                     Whereas, The traditional concept of literacy is usually defined as an individual’s ability to read; and

                     Whereas, Rod Paige, the current Secretary of the U.S Department of Education, stated in 2002 that “reading is the foundation of all learning” and that “our children must learn to read well if they're to excel in life and achieve their dreams; and

                     Whereas, A report entitled, Helping Your Child Become a Reader, published by the U.S. Department of Education, indicates that how well children learn to read affects directly not only how successful they are in school, but how well they do throughout their lives; and

Whereas, According to a report published by the National Academy Press, entitled Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children’s Reading Success, a large number of people in America cannot read as well as they need to in order to achieve success in life; and

                     Whereas, According to the latest data of the National Adult Literacy Survey, approximately 44 million people in the United States can read a little but not well enough to fill out an application, read a food label or read a simple story to a child; and

                     Whereas, The International Adult Literacy Survey, conducted in 1997 to compare the literacy skills of adults in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States, found that the United States had more adults in the two categories pertaining to limited literacy skills than any of the other countries except Poland; and

Whereas, The National Endowment for the Arts recently issued a report entitled “Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America” (the “Reading at Risk Report”), which provides a descriptive survey of national trends in adult literary reading in the United States; and

Whereas, The Reading at Risk Report is based on data from “The Survey of Public Participation in the Arts,” which was conducted by the United States Census Bureau in 2002 using a sample size of more than 17,000 adults to provide statistical measurements by age, gender, education, income, region, race and ethnicity; and

Whereas, The Reading at Risk Report presents a detailed but bleak assessment of the decline of reading’s role in the nation’s culture, finding that literary reading in America is not only declining rapidly among all groups, but that the rate of decline has accelerated, especially among the young; and

Whereas, According to the Reading at Risk Report, fewer than half of Americans over the age of 18 now read novels, short stories, plays or poetry, only 56. 9% have read any book in the last year and the consumer pool for books of all kinds has diminished; and

Whereas, The Reading at Risk Report also found that the pace at which the nation is losing readers is quickening, especially among the young, with the downward trend existing in all demographic areas; and

Whereas, According to a survey commissioned in 2000 by the American Journalism Review, only 16% of adults between the ages of 18 to 29 were reading a daily newspaper; and 

Whereas, Since September is the month of the year that millions of students from Pre-K to college start attending classes at schools throughout New York City, it is a great time to make efforts to get all New Yorkers to read more; now, therefore, be it

                     Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York declares the month of September as “NYC Reads Month.”