[Newark, NJ – February 22, 2018] More than 15 Celebrity Readers participated in the Chancellor Avenue program this month, bringing the joy of reading to students of all ages. Readers were welcomed to Chancellor by the Chancellor Avenue Ambassadors – 8th grade students who serve as community and guest ambassadors for the school.
Interim Superintendent Gregory said, “The Celebrity Read Program allows us to share the joy of reading with our students and our community. Thank you to the United Way and to all participating NPS and to the United Way for continuing to bring this important program to our schools during the month of February. I want to send a special thank you to the Newark Police and Fire Departments for reading to our students and all others who have donated their valuable time.”
Chancellor Avenue School Principal Sakina Pitts said, “It brings me great joy to welcome guests to Chancellor. Thank you to the United Way and to all of the volunteers, particularly our student ambassadors, who represented the entire student body well.” Principal Pitts was joined by Assistant Superintendent Kathy Duke Jackson, who read to a number of classes throughout the morning.
Celebrity Read was established by the United Way of Essex and West Hudson in 1991 as a community-building initiative to diversify the United Way volunteer base while inspiring elementary school children to read, dream, and set and accomplish goals. Recruited from all walks of life, Celebrity Readers travel to local schools where they read a brief passage about the accomplishments of model people of color who have played an important role in American or world history. The Readers also share their own life experiences to instill in the students a sense of pride and hope for the future, emphasizing the importance of education and reading in particular. Originally conceived as a way to celebrate African American History Month, the program was subsequently expanded to include people of other minority descent.