BJF’s Newest Family Literacy Program to Serve Victims of Domestic Violence
Begins Wednesday, April 9th in Manhattan
New York, NY(April 7, 2014) The Brooke Jackman Foundation (BJF), a children’s literacy organization that has donated more than 200,000 books to children and families in need since its founding in 2001, proudly launches a new BJF Family Literacy Program at the Manhattan Family Justice Center (FJC), which opened to the public on March 12, 2014. Designed to promote literacy and build on family strengths, the bilingual family literacy workshop will serve victims of domestic violence and their children. Families will participate in guided readings in Spanish and English, while creating, playing, socializing and enjoying dinner. The program will run nine weeks from April 9th through June 11th.
The BJF Family Literacy Program at the NYC Family Justice Center in Manhattan is offered free to clients of the FJC with children of all ages. Participants do not have to be able to read or write, and there is no language requirement aside from feeling comfortable participating in a bilingual Spanish/English program. BJF offers similar Family Literacy Programs at NYC Family Justice Centers in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.
“The families at the Manhattan Family JusticeCenter are extraordinary. We have a long-standing relationship with the NYC Family Justice Centers, and we are thankful for the opportunity to expand our work with them,” said Erin Jackman, executive director of the Brooke Jackman Foundation. “We hope this new BJF Family Literacy program will provide valuable family time as well as the opportunity for families to experience the magical world of reading together.”
The NYC Family Justice Centers are a public-private initiative of the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence through the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. These one-stop service centers provide comprehensive civil legal, counseling and supportive services for victims of domestic violence, elder abuse, and sex trafficking in their language, regardless of income, immigration status, gender or sexual orientation. Key City agencies, community, social and civil legal service providers, and District Attorney’s Offices are co-located at the Centers to make it easier for victims to get help.
“Every child in this city should experience the joys of reading from a young age, and the BJF workshops are an exciting way to promote literacy,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “The Brooke Jackman Foundation’s generous support will make sure even more of our city’s children and families can spend time learning together in a safe and nourishing space. I’m thrilled to welcome this new program to Manhattan’s Family Justice Center.”
“The Brooke Jackman Foundation has been a dedicated partner at our New York City Family Justice Centers since 2009, and we are grateful for their amazing support,” said Rose Pierre-Louis, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence. “Through this wonderful family literacy program, children and their parents/caregivers are provided with an opportunity to experience, as a family, the joy of reading in a safe, supportive environment.”
The BJF Family Literacy Programs are designed to engage parents or guardians and their children in literacy-based activities. Each participant receives take-home literacy packages and age-appropriate books to support their work at home. Parents learn concrete strategies to maintain their child’s learning during the workshops and at home. The program began with 100 families and today welcomes more than 1,000 families with children ages 5–12 each year. Participants are also offered a nourishing meal and metro cards. Graduates of the BJF Family Literacy Programs each receive BJF’s signature Brooke Pack—backpacks filled with books, pens, pencils, erasers, rulers and other school supplies.
This program will meet every Wednesday from April 9th until June 11th at the Manhattan Family Justice Center (80 Centre Street). For more information about the Brooke Jackman Foundation and its work to promote literacy among at-risk youth in New York City, visit www.brookejackmanfoundation.org.
The NYC Family Justice Center in Manhattan is the City’s fourth Center and will expand on the comprehensive, multilingual services already provided to victims of domestic violence at Centers in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens, as well as through the Staten Island Domestic Violence Response Team. An initiative of the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, since 2005 these Centers have assisted over 100,000 clients and more than 21,000 children have visited the children’s rooms.
About the Brooke Jackman Foundation
The Brooke Jackman Foundation was created in 2001 to honor Brooke Jackman, a bright and compassionate 23-year-old who was killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks before achieving her dream of becoming a social worker. Brooke was an avid reader, and her passion and commitment to literacy and helping children spurred the Jackman family to create BJF as her living legacy – turning tragedy and despair into hope for a better world. Since 2001, the Brooke Jackman Foundation has donated over 200,000 books and over 20,000 Brooke Packs, backpacks filled with books and school supplies, to children and families in need. BJF has established four libraries, as well as a number of after-school literacy programs, in all five boroughs, including homeless shelters and Family Justice Centers for victims of domestic violence and crime in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. The annual September Brooke Jackman Foundation Read-a-thon celebrates the resiliency of New York and its children. Visit www.brookejackmanfoundation.org.