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Pat Lafontaine
Companions in Courage

'Get in the Game' at Brooklyn Library

On Thursday, June 9th, Pat LaFontaine was joined on the windy steps of the Brooklyn Public Library by author Stan Fischler to launch the Summer Reading Kick-off for the children of New York City. More than 100 children and their chaperones gathered in Grand Army Plaza for the event. The theme for this year’s event is “Get in the Game,” and the pair read from the work “I’m Cool,” by Kate and Jim McMullen. Appropriately, the children’s book was written about a Zamboni. LaFontaine introduced the character as “Stan’boni,” before revealing to the children that Fischler is the author of more than 100 books. Vanessa Murdoch of CBS New York served as the emcee for the event. Held annually, the Summer Reading Kick-off event typically draws Brooklynites to the Central Library, with others also accompanying programs held at neighborhood branches. There was entertainment for all ages, opportunities to register for Summer Reading, and a chance to try a variety of games offered by The Brooklyn Strategist, a local store that specializes in games and after-school programs for kids. The Summer Reading campaign encourages reading for fun throughout the summer months. While the campaign provides activities and reading lists for readers of all ages, it is especially targeted at school-age children. Studies show that children who don’t engage in learning activities throughout the summer can experience “Summer Slide” – entering school in the fall a few months’ behind where they were in June. Nearly 9,000 programs were offered system wide in the New York Public Library in 2015, attended by 181,321 participants. In 2015, a total of 122,470 Brooklyn residents registered for Summer Reading, including 107,080 children and teens.

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