The first five years of life are considered the most critical years for brain development. South Jamaica Reads works with parents and caregivers to nurture their children’s literacy learning in a variety of ways.

Parent Engagement


Reach Out and Read of Greater New York works with pediatricians through Queens Hospital Center to prescribe books and encourage families to read together. Doctors, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals advise parents about the importance of reading aloud and giving free developmentally-appropriate books to children. The program begins at the six-month checkup and continues through age five.

Visit a participating healthcare facility:

Queens Hospital Center / South Queens Community Health Center
114-02 Guy Brewer Blvd.
Jamaica, NY 11434

Queens Hospital Center | Parsons Medical Center
90-37 Parsons Boulevard
Jamaica, NY 11432-6032

Children’s Programs

Jumpstart works with Early Learn, Head Start and pre-K children to increase early language and literacy skills to ensure Kindergarten readiness. The monthly Book Buddies program in collaboration with the South Jamaica Branch library is a monthly Saturday program that is open to all families and revolves around readings of a developmentally appropriate story book, fun center activities like reading, picture drawing, constructing puzzles, arts & crafts, decorating treats and more. We also hold a raffle for free prizes and give away literacy bags to the first 50 families. During these events, a parent workshop is run by a Jumpstart staff member on a variety of topics including: Reading With Your Child, Social and Emotional Development and Language and Literacy Development, and Getting Ready for Kindergarten.

For information on Jumpstart’s Book Buddies program at the South Jamaica Branch library call 718-739-4088

To find a participating Early Learn, Head Start, or pre-K program in South Jamaica Queens call 212-868-2526.
Queens Library provides programs for children by providing lifelong learning opportunities. The South Jamaica Branch and Baisley Park Branch libraries offer weekly toddler story times that engage children in age-appropriate literature and model reading behaviors for parents. Children have opportunities to sing and play to build language development and parents are provided with information to strengthen literacy skills at home.

To learn more about toddler story times contact the South Jamaica Branch at 718-739-4088 and the Baisley Park Branch at 718-529-1590.