Center for Children’s Literature

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Learning to read gives a child a tool for acquiring information. Loving to read equips a child with a set of skills for developing a rich, imaginative and ever-expanding life. The Center provides workshops, guides and content for learning and social-emotional/aesthetic development at all levels of childhood education.

The faculty of Bank Street College of Education seeks to address a growing challenge: the diminishing use of children’s literature in literacy programs, particularly in the early grades. As a result, many children are finding it much more difficult to “engage” in their own learning. The components of the Center are:

  • The Children’s Book Committee,
  • Irma Simonton and James H. Black Award,
  • The Cook Prize,
  • BookFest @ Bank Street,
  • The Writers Lab.

The Center is housed in the Bank Street College Library, home to a circulating collection of more than 44,500 children’s books.

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Our Mission

Our mission is to create, identify, and advocate for the highest quality literature for all children from infancy through adolescence. We ensure that such literature is readily accessible to every child, and to foster in parents, educators, and policy makers a commitment to the principle that good literature is fundamental to literacy.

From the Center for Children's Literature Blog
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Young Reviewers

Children’s Book Committee – December 2020 Pick

My favorite thing about this book is its message of hope, in the form of an adorable, affectionate cat, Maci. When the struggles of the war become too overwhelming, Maci is always there to provide comfort. She motivates her family to keep trying when they want to give up. Whenever she gets lost or separated from the family she never fails to find her way back to the people she loves.

Cindy Weill

Dr. Cynthia Weill

Director of the Center for Children's Literature
Cynthia Weill is trained as an art historian and has worked as an educator and in humanitarian assistance. She holds a doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University. She completed her dissertation work in Oaxaca, Mexico where she worked closely with artisans to collaboratively develop a series of bilingual children’s books. Her publications include Ten Mice for Tet (Chronicle 2002) and the First Concepts in Mexican Folk Art Series (Cinco Puntos Press) as well as academic articles on education and the arts.