NPS Celebrates Read Across America Day to Promote Reading and Literacy

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Celebrations are part of the district’s “Spring into Reading” literacy initiative

Superintendent Christopher D. Cerf of Newark Public Schools reads Dr. Seuss’s “Fox in Socks” to students at Roberto Clemente Elementary School

[Newark, NJ – March 7, 2017] Newark Public Schools (NPS) celebrated National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America Day last week at elementary schools across the city. Read Across America Day is part of a broader district-wide literacy initiative currently underway called “Spring into Reading” to promote literacy and encourage more children to read.

“Increased reading is a significant contributing factor to higher student achievement, which is why it is so important that we cultivate strong literacy skills in all of our students at a young age,” said Christopher D. Cerf, Superintendent of Newark Public Schools. “Helping students develop a love for reading through enriching activities and initiatives will ultimately set them up for long-term academic and career success.”

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the NEA’s Read Across America, a day that engages educators, parents, and communities across the United States to encourage and inspire children to read. The celebration has been held every year since 1998 on March 2, the birthday of renowned children’s author Dr. Seuss

In addition to Read Across America Day, NPS has offered students a number of positive reading and literacy activities through the “Spring into Reading” initiative including:

  • World Read Aloud Day on Thursday, February 16: World Read Aloud Day is an international celebration in its eighth year that assembles individuals, schools, and organizations across all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories, as well as from over 100 countries worldwide, to bring awareness to children, teens, and adults about the importance of reading aloud and sharing stories with children.  NPS celebrated World Read Aloud Day on Thursday, February 16.
  • Kickoff of “Spring into Reading” on Wednesday, February 22: At Chancellor Avenue School, students participated in a read aloud assembly, reading along with local officials and children’s authors to kick off the district’s “Spring Into Reading” initiative, celebrate World Read Aloud Day and Read Across America Day
  • All 16,500 students participating in the My Very Own Library (MVOL) program were able to choose three, free books which they will be able to add to their home libraries and read over spring break this April. MVOL is made possible through United Way of Essex and West Hudson (UWEWH), the program’s administrator, and Scholastic Book Fairs, a division of Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and the exclusive book supplier of MVOL

Earlier this year, United Way of Essex and West Hudson received a $4.4 million private donation to support literacy for Newark Public School students, funding the continuation of the MVOL program. Over the course of the 2016-2017 academic year, the MVOL initiative will reach 26 schools and 16,500 students, placing 165,000 more books into the home libraries of Newark students.