November 2016

For the love of reading

Over 1,000 books were presented to children in New York's Chinatown neighborhood at an event organized as part of Tata group's partnership with First Book

Excitement and enthusiasm rang through the halls of P.S. 1 Alfred E. Smith Elementary on October 6, as a welcome change in schedule came for a group of fourth graders. More than 50 students were gifted with over 1,000 new books thanks to a 'Reading Celebration' event hosted by Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces through the Tata group's philanthropic partnership with non-profit organization, First Book.

  • Jodi Leblanc of Taj Hotels reads with the excited fourth graders of Alfred E. Smith Elementary as part of the company's reading celebration
  • Taj Hotels donated more than 1,000 books to the students of Alfred E. Smith Elementary school in Chinatown. Each fourth grader student received six new books on behalf of the company
  • Jim Shapiro of Tata Sons reads one of the gifted books to a group of fourth grade students who participated in the company's reading celebration
  • Avisek Das of Tata Sons participates in a read aloud circle and interactive games with the enthusiastic students of Alfred E. Smith Elementary school

Volunteers from Taj Hotels and Tata Sons presented the donation to the fourth grade students at Alfred E. Smith Elementary and participated in read aloud circles and games with the children that brought to life the stories they were reading. Thanks to the donations, each student went home with six new books, a gift that will not only help to advance their reading skills but continue to build their own personal 'libraries' at home.

Since their partnership began more than 10 years ago, Tata and First Book have donated more than 405,000 new books to children in need. An estimated 45,000 additional books will be distributed in the next partnership year.

Over the past five years the school has placed a huge emphasis on encouraging students to build and customize their own personal home libraries, thereby cultivating the next generation of learners and leaders. In fact, since Alfred E. Smith Elementary first began this initiative to further the literacy growth of its children, students have taken home countless books and as a result reading levels have dramatically improved. Tata's gift effectively contributes to the school's goal of supporting literacy, and the continued success of maintaining and improving reading levels. "It's an honor to support the students of Alfred E. Smith Elementary with First Book and our Tata group company executives, and provide these books to the children," said Jodi Leblanc, vice president - global sales, the Americas, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces. "With the new school year well underway, we hope our gift of books will help inspire a love for reading among the students, and bring us one step closer to bridging the gap on any difficulties they may have gaining access to fun and engaging literature at home."

Among the books distributed to the students at the event were titles such as Walt Disney: Drawn from Imagination by Bill Scollon, Freedom's School by Lesa Cline-Ransome and Gaijin: American Prisoner of War by Matt Faulkner.