NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — They’re building a better world, and reading a lot of books in the meantime — a new program in Brooklyn is aimed at encouraging kids to dive into books outside of their comfort zone.

As CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock reported, young Brooklynites, even baby Brooklynites grooved to the music on Thursday at Brooklyn Public Library.

So why did so many kids gather at the hub of knowledge?

“To kick off summer reading,” Lela said.

This year’s theme, ‘Build A Better World’ and seemingly endless activities kept their spry minds entertained.

“That’s what we do. We build a better world,” Beam Center, chairman of the board, Danny Kahn said.

The non-profit beam center came up with a collaborative structure to promote reading. Children created a pinwheel to draw their story and then nailed it on.

Eva Zheng’s story is about nerds.

“Wears glasses, does summer reading challenges, goes to the library every day,” she said.

The entire day — which CBS2 sponsors — was built around getting kids to sign up for summer reading.

Special guest and award winning author and illustrator Javaka Steptoe read from his book ‘Radiant Child’ while the most special guests listened intently.

“Summer reading is important because it’s our way of making sure kids don’t lose the ground they gained during the school year,” Brooklyn Public Library, Linda Johnson explained.

Johnson said the summer slide is a real thing. The average student can lose up to one month of learning if they don’t bury themselves in books for at least part of the summer.

Juliette Conway has big plans for her time off.

“In school they tell us to read 30 books over the summer, and I try to do that,” she said.

So does Abigail Koppenhoefer.

“I’m going for 50,” she said.



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