This year, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of this wonderful program, which has fostered a lifelong love of reading in thousands of Staten Islanders.
Since the program was started in 1996, 4th graders have read more than 575,000 books for the annual challenge. This year, 40 schools participated with some 1,207 students completing the challenge.
“We read for all different reasons: To escape, be a better writer, ignite your imagination, get smarter, learn more about a hobby and go to faraway places,” said BP Oddo. “I’m proud to continue this program and hope that those who participated over the past 20 years continue to read as they grow older.”
To make this year’s ceremony extra special, BP Oddo partnered with magician and author Mike Lane, who mystified the crowd with a magic show and gave out awards to students who read books from his “Magic Shop” series. We were also happy to be joined by Vito Fossella, who began the program 20 years ago when he was a City Council member. Special thanks to CTV, Macmillan Publishing and Barnes and Noble, who sponsored the event.