Yonkers, NY, May 7, 2019 - The Foundation for the Yonkers Public Library will host an exclusive event for students from Yonkers’ high schools called Coming of Age in America: An Author Talk with Sandra Cisneros on Monday, May 20 at Riverfront Library. The Foundation, in partnership with Yonkers Public Schools, will provide a unique opportunity for nearly 300 students to attend the event with the best-selling author. The talk, Cisneros’ first-ever in Westchester County, will also be accessible via live stream for students and teachers in grades 7 through 12 throughout the district.
Among The Foundation’s goals is to enhance Yonkers Public Library’s ability to provide outstanding programming that best serves Yonkers’ diverse community, in particular its youth, through a growing collaboration with Yonkers Public Schools. Cisneros, a Mexican American who grew up in Chicago, is a pioneer in American literature who writes from a Latino perspective and explores the lives of the working class. Her best known novel, The House on Mango Street, a coming of age story and required reading in schools across the country.
“It is wonderful that the Foundation has brought a world renowned author to Yonkers and that our students will have the opportunity to speak and interact with her,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Edwin Quezada. “Fifty-nine percent of the students in the Yonkers Public Schools are Hispanic. Ms. Cisneros and her work speak to their Latino cultural experiences, and she brings their perspective to the universal themes of growing up and discovering your voice.” Her appearance will mark the first time a nationally-recognized Latina author delivers a talk designed for them.
Coming of Age in America: An Author Talk with Sandra Cisneros is the first of two events hosted by The Foundation on May 20. That evening, the award-winning author will be the featured speaker at The Foundation’s Spring Gala, a ticketed fundraising event to support educational programming at the Yonkers Public Library’s three branches. Gala tickets, which are being offered at a special rate for educators, are available at www.foundationforypl.org.
“We are delighted to have Sandra Cisneros visit Yonkers. Her visit will make our Gala truly special and help us raise funds to enhance programming for teens and young adults,” said Foundation President Nancy Maron. “We could not miss the opportunity, while she is here, to offer all Yonkers students a chance to hear her speak and be inspired by her message.”
ABOUT SANDRA CISNEROS:
Sandra Cisneros is a poet, short story writer, novelist, essayist, performer, and artist whose work explores the lives of the working-class. Her coming of age novel, The House on Mango Street, has sold over six million copies, has been translated into over twenty languages, and is required reading in high schools and universities across the country. Her numerous awards include NEA fellowships in both poetry and fiction, the Texas Medal of the Arts, a MacArthur Fellowship, several honorary doctorates and national and international book awards, including Chicago’s Fifth Star Award, the PEN Center USA Literary Award, the Fairfax Prize, and the National Medal of the Arts awarded to her by President Obama in 2016. Most recently, she received the Ford Foundation’s Art of Change Fellowship, was recognized among The Frederick Douglass 200, and won the PEN/Nabokov Award for international literature. Her classic, coming-of-age novel, The House on Mango Street, has sold over six million copies, has been translated into over twenty languages, and is required reading in elementary, high school, and universities across the nation. Sandra Cisneros is a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico.
ABOUT THE FOUNDATION FOR THE YONKERS PUBLIC LIBRARY:
The Foundation for the Yonkers Public Library is an independent not-for-profit organization, created in 2017 by the trustees and administrators of YPL as a means to actively support and enrich the programming, spaces, and collections of the Library. The Foundation, through its fundraising efforts, has already funded several key library initiatives in 2019, including 1000 Books Before Kindergarten and Teacher in the Library, as well as well as a new artist teaching series launched in 2019. For more information visit: www.foundationforypl.org.
ABOUT THE YONKERS PUBLIC LIBRARY:
The Yonkers Public Library is the largest library in Westchester County and was established in 1893 to serve the citizens of the City of Yonkers. There are currently three branches; Riverfront Library, our main branch, in downtown Yonkers, the Grinton I. Will Branch on Central Avenue and the Crestwood Branch in the Crestwood section of the city. Our mission is to change lives every date. Our expert, trusted staff help all the people of Yonkers find the information they need, the programs they enjoy, and the reading they love. In 2018, the library had over 825,000 visitors, checked out 795,000 items, held 7,200 programs for adults, teens and youth and answered 364,479 reference questions. For more information about the Yonkers Public Library, visit www.ypl.org.
ABOUT THE YONKERS PUBLIC SCHOOLS:
Yonkers Public Schools is the fourth largest school district in New York State. Established in 1880, today the District a vibrant learning community of 27,000 students from 100 cultures, backgrounds and nationalities in grades prekindergarten through 12. Yonkers Public Schools is one of the largest employer in Westchester County with a diverse workforce of 3,300 educators and support staff servicing students in 39 schools as well as a free adult education and job training program. Each elementary school has full-day prekindergarten, mandated full-day kindergarten and a unique magnet theme. The 8 comprehensive high schools provide 24 specialized career and college readiness magnet programs. Montessori education is available across all grade levels and there is a dedicated academically talented school for grades prekindergarten to 8 and the International Baccalaureate Programme for grades 9 to 12. Yonkers has the highest graduation rate of the State’s five large city districts with an 86% on-time August graduation rate in 2018, is the only large city to graduate over 80% of its students on-time and surpass the statewide August 83% rate that year.