Meet the Writers
Reading, Writing, and Thinking
Meet the Writers turns an ordinary school day into something special. The Brooklyn-based nonprofit supports literacy and fosters a love of reading by bringing authors and illustrators to New York City schools. Through the lively exchange of ideas with inspiring writers, students become excited about books and the power of reading in their lives. It’s all part of the organization’s mission. Meet the Writers believes that reading matters and that better readers make better writers and better thinkers.
Meet the Writers aims to reach all children, but has a particularly strong presence in Title I schools where the majority of students are part of low-income families. Last school year, Meet the Writers reached more than 4,000 students and gave away over 1,000 signed books. This year, the number is expected to reach 6,500 students at 20 schools city-wide including at least eight in Brooklyn.
Providing signed books for students is financially demanding but a key ingredient in the success Meet the Writers hopes to achieve. Pride of ownership is especially meaningful for students in Title 1 schools. Reaching the goal of giving each student a signed book to keep after every visit is a major fundraising challenge and Meet the Writers continues to seek support from new funders to help accomplish it.
Meet the Writers received the 2017 Innovative Emerging Not-For-Profit Award from the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Investors Foundation and St. Francis College Center for Entrepreneurship. In addition, it was recognized as a winner in the 2017 Brooklyn Public Library’s PowerUp! Business Plan Competition.
Students love the opportunity of meeting an author face to face and the feeling seems to be mutual. After his visit to a middle school in Brooklyn, Mark Kurlansky, author of World Without Fish wrote, “I was very moved by those kids….And I think what we need to do is educate them so they can become a power in the world. Almost every one of their questions was about how to do better.”
The effect of Meet the Writers is summed up by an Assistant Principal in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn who wrote, “The kids read the book differently knowing they would get to meet the writer. I am forever indebted to you for coming to our school and helping to build a culture of reading.”