In order to help young Harlemites understand that reading and learning are for everyone, they must be exposed to a diverse range of strong academic role models, including men. Yet the demographics of teachers in Harlem’s elementary schools unfortunately mirror national statistics: in the U.S., Black and Latino males constitute less than 2% of primary-school teachers.
To address that need, the Harlem Council of Elders recruits dozens of upstanding men from the community each May to spend the day reading to elementary school students at P.S. 175 in Central Harlem.
Over the years, hundreds of students in kindergarten through fifth grade have participated in storytelling using exciting books selected from the school library.
The Council looks forward to bringing Men Who Read to more Harlem schools.