After-school Programs

Earth Defenders 2021
The Earth Defenders in Fall 2021 exploring and learning from their surrounding ecosystems in local parks. ::  Los Defensores del Planeta en el otoño del 2021 explorando y aprendiendo de los ecosistemas que nos rodean en nuestros parques locales.

English below


Nuestros programas extracurriculares le dan vida a los libros para lectores de edad escolar y para los que hasta ahora estan aprendiendo a leer y los conectan a la comunidad colaborativa de Word Up. Nuestros artistas docentes experimentados, a menudo miembros actuales o pasados ​​​​del colectivo, brindan un espacio estable para que los jóvenes se involucren y disfruten de la lectura mientras conectan los textos con el mundo que los rodea. Ya sea que el enfoque de una temporada sea nuestro entorno, nuestras historias y culturas, nuestro papel como ciudadanos o todo lo anterior, Word Up desarrolla lectores de conciencia y corazón. Como librería y organización, queremos que la próxima generación esté capacitada para leer el mundo y, con ese conocimiento, ¡dar forma a nuestro futuro!

Los programas extracurriculares de Word Up han sido virtuales, en persona y/o híbridos, y se fortalecen con visitas de autores, actividades artísticas prácticas, debates guiados sobre eventos actuales, excursiones por el vecindario y más. Para permanecer lo más accesible posible, nuestros programas extracurriculares son gratuitos, aunque tenemos una sola tarifa de inscripción de $15.00. Si no puede pagar la tarifa de registro, envíe un correo electrónico a Los libros y suministros del programa extracurricular se proporcionan de forma gratuita.


Our after-school programs bring books to life for school-aged readers and potential readers, who become connected to the highly collaborative Word Up community. Our experienced teaching artists—often present or past Word Up collective members—provide a stable space for youth to engage and find joy in reading while connecting texts to the world around them. Whether a season's focus is our environment, our histories and cultures, our role as citizens, or all of the above, Word Up develops readers of conscience and heart. As a bookstore and organization, we want the next generation to be empowered to read the world and, with that knowledge, shape our collective futures!

Word Up's after-school programs have been virtual, in-person, and/or hybrid, and are fortified by author visits, hands-on art activities, guided discussions of current events, neighborhood field trips, and more. To remain as accessible as possible, our after-school programs are free, though we have a one-time registration fee of $15.00. If you are unable to pay the registration fee, please email After-school program books and supplies are provided free of charge. 

NEW Earth Defenders Mini Camp

Past programs

Featured books

Earth Defenders Mini-Camp 2022

—a weeklong program for ages 9–11—

Calling all aspiring defenders of our one and only planet! Together we’ll explore urban ecology and outdoor spaces of Washington Heights, build ecological literacy, and practice ways to observe the world around us as scientists, artists, activists, and caretakers.

Start Date: Monday, August 22
Dates: 8/22, 8/23, 8/24, 8/25, 8/26
Optional family event: Saturday, August 27, 10am-12pm -12pm (Highbridge cleanup)
Time: Daily, 9am–12pm
Location: Word Up Community Bookshop, 2113 Amsterdam Avenue + outdoors
Program Fee: $20 - but no one will be turned away! Register by August 17.
Virtual parent/guardian orientation: Thursday, August 18, 6pm. A link will be emailed after you register.
Facilitators: Memphis Washington & Rishauna Zumberg

Please consider making a donation to Word Up so that we can continue to offer free and low-cost programing. You can do so by visiting


This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


Environmental Summer Program - Summer 2021

After-school Program Spring 2021 - Elementary (Grades 1-2) & Middle School (Grade 6-8)

Uptown Stories: Once Upon Un Tiempo (Bilingual) Winter 2022



A Boy Called Bat (The Bat Series #1) By Elana K. Arnold, Charles Santoso (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Elana K. Arnold, Charles Santoso (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062445834
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Walden Pond Press - March 13th, 2018

Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids By Cynthia L. Smith Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062869944
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Heartdrum - February 9th, 2021

Paradise on Fire By Jewell Parker Rhodes Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316493833
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - September 14th, 2021

Forest World By Margarita Engle Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781481490580
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - August 28th, 2018

Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers By Celia C. Pérez Cover Image
ISBN: 9780425290453
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Puffin Books - September 1st, 2020

Same Sun Here By Silas House, Neela Vaswani, Hilary Schenker (Illustrator) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780763664510
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick - August 6th, 2013

Hoot By Carl Hiaasen Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375829161
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ember - May 11th, 2004

Chato's Kitchen By Gary Soto, Susan Guevara (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Gary Soto, Susan Guevara (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780698116009
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Puffin Books - September 22nd, 1997

Have You Ever Seen a Flower? By Shawn Harris (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Shawn Harris (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781452182704
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Chronicle Books - May 4th, 2021

Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood By Tony Hillery, Jessie Hartland (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Tony Hillery, Jessie Hartland (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781534402317
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books - August 18th, 2020

Class Act: A Graphic Novel By Jerry Craft, Jerry Craft (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Jerry Craft, Jerry Craft (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062885500
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Quill Tree Books - October 6th, 2020

Measuring Up By Lily LaMotte, Ann Xu (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Lily LaMotte, Ann Xu (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062973863
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperAlley - October 27th, 2020