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The Harvard Library in New York Presents The Fourth Annual Young Readers Prize - May 2020

Updated: Feb 22, 2020

In May 2020, the Harvard Library in New York will award the fourth annual “Young Readers Prize” to three NYC public school tenth graders. Known unofficially as “the bookworm award,” the prize is intended to recognize students expressly for their love of reading. The Harvard Library of New York will recognize the prize winners at an intimate reception to be held at the Harvard Library, located at the historic Harvard Club of New York. Parents and caregivers will be invited to join the celebration, in which all award recipients will be recognized and awarded a $250 gift certificate to the iconic Strand Bookstore as well as a selection of books curated by a guest speaker (to be confirmed). Travel funds are available for all families.

Check out photos from past Young Readers Prize ceremonies! Link to 2017 Reception: Link to 2018 Reception: Link to 2019 Reception: This prize is available to all New York Public and Charter School 10th Grade Students. To be considered for the prize, students must submit brief essays related to their love of reading. The prize recognizes students who show a deep love of reading for its own sake – irrespective of academic or testing performance – and show thoughtfulness about what they read and how it impacts them.

Selection process: The Harvard Library in New York Presents The Fourth Annual Young Readers Prize - May 2020 APPLY NOW! Callforapplications https://flic.kr/s/aHskWPoZHU https://flic.kr/s/aHsmvf4jJo https://flic.kr/s/aHsmJNuEvY HCNY

Board Member Anna Chapman presents prize to 2017 Awardees. To help in the selection process,

Students will be asked to write a brief personal essay (250-500 words), responding to ONE of the following quotes. Essays should be personal reflections on the quotes – they should bring in students’ own life narratives and self-understanding, with specific examples.

Essay Submission Assignments:

"How do we diminish the distance between us? Reading is one way to close that distance.

It gives us a quiet universe that we can share together, that we can share in equally." – Michelle Kuo

“Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.” – Albert Camus

“Think before you speak. Read before you think.” – Fran Lebowitz

“Reading is an act of civilization; it’s one of the greatest acts of civilization because it takes the free raw material of the mind and builds castles of possibilities.” – Ben Okri


The Prize Committee will select the winners of the “Young Readers Prize” based on the following

– Demonstrated insight into the role of reading in one’s personal development

– Thoughtful self-reflection

– Originality and creativity

– Authentic style

– Grammar and structure

Deadline: Please submit student essays by Friday April 15, 2020.

Submission details: Email youngreadersprize@gmail.com with essay, school name, student name and contact information.

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