Thank you, Cristina, for this post!
Saturday, March 7, 2015, marked the Grand Opening celebration of Bank Street Bookstore’s new location on Broadway at 107th Street. The celebration included thirty-one local children’s authors and illustrators who read and autographed their books. It was fantastic to watch children meet authors for the first time and listen to the authors not only read their stories, but talk about the process of being a writer.
The new location is amazing! It is wall-to-wall windows, creating a bright and cheery atmosphere, several spaces for reading and author visits, and rows and rows of books. Every shelf is clearly labeled with magnetic foam letters. It is a great place to spend the day.
Shael Polakow-Suransky, president of the Bank Street College of Education, spoke of the bookstore as a place for children to gather together to learn, inquire, play, share, and celebrate. He spoke of Bank Street Bookstore being the place that teachers come to find literature for their classrooms and how it is critically important to have resources like Bank Street Bookstore in the community.
Gale A. Brewer, Manhattan Borough President, talked about the importance of saving the “mom and pop” stores, and especially the bookstores. Bank Street Bookstore is a place that brings people together: parents, teachers, children, visitors, and the community.
Last, Mark Levine, District 7 Council Member, spoke about how children love the printed page and that there is no substitute for words on paper. He shared how reading is a sensory experience — from touching the paper, to looking at the pictures, to hearing the words — and nothing can replace children’s literature.
All of the children were called to be a part of the ribbon cutting ceremony before being directed to different areas of the store for story time with the authors. I was able to speak with several authors who were so excited to be a part of this celebration. Many said that they love to meet their readers and are open to coming into your classrooms. It is important to note that all of the authors present were local; the bookstore wanted it to be about the community around them.
While the bookstore is now a bit farther away from Teachers College (just a few blocks!), be sure to check out the new location. They host over 500 free events throughout the year from story time to author meet-and-greets. Be sure to check out their website for these events.