Parent Testimonies at Walt Whitman Library

Today, parents gathered in Fort Greene, Brooklyn to celebrate recent improvement at Walt Whitman Library. Testimonies from two of the parents who spoke -- Ana Mena and Patrick Cabiness, are below. Follow StudentsFirstNY on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to see photos from today's event.


My name is Ana Mena and I’m here today not only for my family, but for all the members of this community who use Walt Whitman Library on a daily basis.  

Jessey, my son, meets up with his friends at this library. As a parent, I want this library to be an environment where local kids want to visit, read and learn. 

For years very little changed inside the walls of this library. For years, Walt Whitman failed to improve the lives of the people living in this community. The library was poorly maintained and it was not a place for kids to go, grow and learn.

But today we are happy to celebrate the changes for Walt Whitman, including:

  • A new children’s librarian; 
  • More literacy programs for children; and
  • A larger supply of children’s books.

I'm hopeful these steps will improve the learning environment at this library.

This library is simply not just a building with books. It forms the identity of a neighborhoodI want that identity to not be forgotten. I want that identity to be an example of the values we hold for education and our kids. 



Hello, my name is Patrick Cabiness, AND I’m the PTA president of P.S. 67, and most importantly, the father of a child who attends P.S. 67. 

P.S. 67 is located right next door to the Walt Whitman Library, and I can tell you first hand that the parents of P.S. 67 have been fighting hard for our children, our school, and the literacy rates of this community for quite some time now.

P.S. 67 is a failing school and we, as parents and a community need to do everything we can to help them learn.

That includes a library that helps their curiosity and learning potential.

The new children’s librarian, literacy program and books will hopefully get our kids excited about reading.

I look forward to working with the staff of the Walt Whitman Library to find new ways to make our community library a popular destination that makes our community members excited to take part in our library’s activities.

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