With interest in early voting high in New York City, Uncommon Schools is hosting Book-O-Ween events on Halloween to encourage and educate Brooklyn residents about casting an early ballot in the upcoming election.
U.S. Rep Yvette D. Clarke (D-Central Brooklyn, State Sen. Zellnor Y. Myrie (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Sunset Park), Assemblywoman Latrice M. Walker (D-Brownsville) and City Councilmembers Alicka Ampry-Samuel (D-Brownsville) and Robert Cornegy Jr. (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights) are co-sponsoring the events and their staff will be available to answer questions.
“Halloween this year will feel different in many ways, but there are plenty of ways to have fun while staying safe,” said Myrie. “I’m grateful to Uncommon Schools and my colleagues for organizing this event for young people.”
Early voting began Saturday in New York with voters waiting in long lines at some of the city’s 88 early voting sites. Voters will be able to cast ballots through Sunday, Nov. 1. New York is allowing early voting as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
There are 27 locations throughout Brooklyn, including the Barclay’s Center. The Board of Elections has a search tool to help early voters find their correct voting site.
“We hope these events will provide valuable information for residents so they know everything they need to know so their early ballot is properly cast and counted,” said Crystal McQueen-Taylor, regional senior director for Uncommon Schools. “It’s so important for our Brooklyn families to vote to ensure their voice is heard both here and nationally.”
Uncommon Schools, which educates 10,000 K-12 students in 24 schools in Brooklyn, is committed to social justice and encouraging its families to vote is one way the charter network carries out that commitment, McQueen-Taylor said.
Earlier this year, Uncommon Schools was heavily involved with local elected officials in encouraging Kings County residents to complete their census.
“We encourage our families to not only vote, but to engage with elected officials and get involved in their communities because that’s the only way to ensure their children get the resources they need,” McQueen-Taylor said. “We want to thank our elected officials for being so responsive to our families.”
The Book-O-Ween event is also an opportunity for students to have a safe, socially distant way to enjoy Halloween and also to pick up fun-to-read books, McQueen-Taylor said.
“We hope families bring their children because we are giving away hundreds of free books, which we hope will bolster children’s interest in and love for reading, especially during this trying time of remote learning,” she said.
The events will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 31 at the corner of Pitkin and Rockaway Avenues in Brownsville and in the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza, 1368 Fulton Street in Bed-Stuy. Free books, candy, music and information about how to vote early will be available.