Friday, April 19, 2024

“Celebrities” Read Across the Counties

PRESS RELEASE: PHILLIPSBURG, N.J. – Read Across America is a nationwide initiative that celebrates reading and spotlights the importance of literacy in the lives of young children. It’s a fact – the younger children are when they start reading, the better they do in school.

Norwescap, a comprehensive nonprofit organization providing services to over 30,000 individuals, oversees 10 Head Start (Early Head Start) Centers located in Hunterdon County (Ringoes), Sussex County (Newton, Hopatcong, Wantage), and Warren County (Hackettstown, Phillipsburg, Washington).

During the week of March 4 through 8, the Head Start Centers held several special “Read Across America” events for their young learners. Among the “celebrity” book readers for Norwescap’s Head Start students were Warren County Commissioner Lori Ciesla, Mayor Randy Piazza, Councilman Lee Clark, Phillipsburg Police Sgt. Ryan Sokoloswki, and Police Officer Tyler Scott who all read in Phillipsburg; Washington Township Police Cpt. John Kaufmann, who read “Hop On Pop” and environmental educator Diana Dove, who read “Yertle the Turtle,” both in Washington; Hunterdon County Commissioner Susan Soloway in Ringoes; Morris County Commissioner Deborah Smith in Denville; and Mayor Marie Galate in Hopatcong.

Two female firefighters from the Washington Fire Department celebrated Read Across America and International Women’s Day when they read to the youngsters at Washington Head Start. Firefighter Destinee Hartrum, who recently won an award for being the first female firefighter in the Washington Fire Department to drive the truck, read “Are You My Mother?” Her cousin, firefighter Stephanie Hartrum, read “I Wish That I Had Duck Feet.” Both women attended Norwescap’s Washington Head Start when they were preschoolers.

Acknowledging Read Across America, the White House issued a proclamation stating, “Dr. Seuss once wrote, ‘The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go’ urging all readers to ‘celebrate the power that is unleashed by reading’ and ‘forge a future of limitless possibilities.'”

Launched in 1998 by the National Education Association, Read Across America is all about reading, aspiring to inspire children (and others) to relish reading. In that regard, Norwescap’s Read Across America event provided young readers an enjoyable, memorable experience.