Children’s Literacy Program at Newburgh Library

NEWBURGH – UJIMA is the third principal of Kwanza, and represents “ Collective Work and Responsibility.” Ujima is also the name of a new monthly children’s program being offered at the Newburgh Free Library, for children ages 5-8 and their families. The program is designed to encourage families and the community to gather, celebrate, and read aloud books reflective of the diversity in our community.

The inaugural Ujima program was held in November 2022, and featured the book Skin Like Mineby LaTashia M. Perry, illustrated by Bea Jackson. Ujima’s February program featured a visit and reading from local author Kevin Lewis, highlighting his book Brown Sugar Baby. The next Ujima program was on Thursday, March 23, and featured guest author Selah Flavius’ book Selah’s Family Fun. “We are very excited to present books that celebrate local authors and the BIPOC community,” said Malinda Ware.

UJIMA was developed and is presented by local entrepreneur and resident Malinda Ware in collaboration and partnership with the Newburgh Free Library and the generous support from the Friends of the Library, private donations, and other community organizations.
The Newburgh Free Library hosted the KWANZA celebration on Wednesday, December 28, representing the principle of UJIMA. This event highlighted the kickoff of the Ujima children’s literacy program, and was attended by more than over 140 participants to celebrate the art, culture, history, and storytelling through the work of African Americans.

“We have a full year of monthly Ujima programs planned in this literacy series,” said Lisa Kochik, Head of Youth Services at the library. “We hope to culminate this year’s programming with an even larger and equally joyful gathering to uphold the principle of Ujima at the end of 2023.”

Visit the Newburgh Free Library for information on future programs. Registration is suggested, but not required, and is open to families with children ages 5-8 (Grades K-3). Participation is limited. Sign up using the calendar of events at, or at All sessions and books are free for registered participants.

Please contact the library if you would like to volunteer for this program. For more information, contact Lisa Kochik at the Newburgh Free Library at 845-563-3616, or by email

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