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NJCDC Celebrates Read Across America Day with Community Volunteers

NJCDC Celebrates Read Across America Day with Community Volunteers

March 7, 2024

Watch our video of Read Across America Day

Dr. Seuss' birthday is on March 2nd, and every year, schools and nonprofits nationwide celebrate this occasion with Read Across America Day. A reading motivation and awareness event, Read Across America Day helps every child in every community celebrate the joys of learning and literacy. This annual event is very special at NJCDC because it is one of the many ways we instill a love of reading in our youngest scholars.

On the morning of Friday, March 1, we welcomed almost 40 volunteers, including community leaders, corporate supporters, and community members, who were eager to read to our students. Our readers included Governor Murphy's Chief of Staff, Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti; Mayor Andre Sayegh and First Lady Farhanna Sayegh; Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter; Passaic County Commissioner Orlando Cruz; and NJCDC Trustees Bill Pascrell III and Eric Daleo, who was joined by his wife Katie and daughter Clara. They were joined by volunteers from the New Jersey Department of Human Services, the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, William Paterson University, Berkeley College, Bulbhead, Langan, PSEG, Citizens Bank, Columbia Bank, Lakeland Bank, Citi, Valley Bank, the Paterson Police Department, and the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park.

All of the readers were excited about the opportunity to share some of their favorite books with our students!

We started the celebrations at 9 a.m. at our Paterson Family Center (PFC) preschool, where volunteers read to all 105 three- and four-year-old students. NJCDC's Founder and CEO Bob Guarasci welcomed all of our guests and expressed how grateful he was for their dedication to promoting literacy among Paterson's youngest students. The readers then went into the classrooms to read to our very excited students. At 10 a.m., we went over to the Community Charter School of Paterson (CCSP), the K-8 charter school founded 15 years ago by NJCDC and Paterson community members. At CCSP, Bob once again welcomed the readers, before inviting CCSP's CEO, Ira Griffith to speak. Then, volunteers were thrilled to go into classrooms and read to hundreds of students in kindergarten through third grade.

At both schools, readers and students also received special visits from the Cat in the Hat and Sparky the Fire Dog from the Paterson Fire Department! Our volunteers had a great time sharing their favorite childhood books with our students and spreading their love of reading.

The sooner that kids begin to learn, the sooner that they're on their way to a great education and all that comes with that," said NJCDC's Founder and CEO, Bob Guarasci. "That old saying that 'reading is fundamental' is so true. This is where it all begins. The foundations of learning and growth are right here. And today, you're part of it.

Ira Griffith, CCSP's CEO, told guests, "CCSP exists to advance racial equity through an excellent education for our kids, and reading is fundamental for that to be true. So we are so excited and privileged that you all took time out of your busy days and lives to come be a model for our kids because reading is connected to freedom for us."

One Thanks, Two Thanks, Big Thanks, True Thanks to all of our readers!

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