On Thursday, March 2nd, United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region and six nonprofit partner organizations joined together at nine locations and read to more than 750 students in celebration of the 20th anniversary of National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Students from Dutchess and Orange counties joined millions of their peers across the country to hear some of their favorite stories read aloud.
“I was thrilled to see the community come together around advancing early literacy in our region,” remarked Melissa Clark, Community Impact Manager. “The volunteers and the children had so much fun celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday!”
In addition to giving Cat in the Hat pencils to each of the students, United Way volunteers distributed 100s of childrens' books that community members donated during the fall book drive.
The NEA’s Read Across America day celebrates a joy of reading and a love of learning – both epitomized by Dr. Seuss. This is the third year that United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region participated in Read Across America Day.
The nonprofit partner organizations that participated in the NEA’s Read Across America Day with United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region are: Astor Services, Boys & Girls Club of Newburgh, Catharine Street Community Center, Literacy Connections’ Book Buddies, Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum, and Newburgh Head Start:
Astor Services, Beacon & Poughkeepsie
On Thursday morning, United Way staff member Sue Manning along with United Way volunteers Eric Barrett and Kayla Crowe read aloud to a group of children at Astor Services in Beacon. United Way staff member Tina Kitson and United Way Corporate Engagement Committee Members Cammie Jones and Glen Noakes also read aloud to a group of children at the Poughkeepsie location.
Boys & Girls Club of Newburgh
At the Boys and Girls Club New Windsor location at Temple Hill School, Community Impact Council member Stacey Nelson, Corporate Engagement Committee member Juana Torres, volunteer Michael Bark along with United Way staff members Jennell Higgs and Emily Darrow celebrated Read Across America Day. At the Boys and Girls Club located on 285 Liberty Street in Newburgh, Community Impact Council member Valerie Paul, United Way Board Vice Chair Dave Jolly, Orange County Government’s representative Mary Pat Smith and United Way staff member Carolyn Zazzarino showed their support as they read later that afternoon in Newburgh.
Catharine Street Community Center, Poughkeepsie
Guest readers for the the morning and afternoon Pre-K classes at Poughkeepsie’s Catharine Street Community Center included Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro, United Way President & CEO Jeannie Montano, United Way 2nd Vice Chair of the Board Kevin Cleary, Superintendent of the Poughkeepsie City School District Dr. Nicole Williams, United Way Young Leader United Sarah Weikel, United Way Board member Steve Lant and United Way staff member Colleen McKenna.
Literacy Connections, Poughkeepsie & New Windsor
Literacy Connections Book Buddies at Krieger Elementary School in Poughkeepsie hosted City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison as he read along with United Way’s Young Leaders United members Weintana Abraha, Kelly Osterman, Matthew Paquet, Julia Pagones, volunteer Monica Valentin and United Way staff member Melissa Clark. Guest readers at Literacy Connections Book Buddies program at Vails Gate STEAM Academy in New Windsor included United Way Community Impact Council members Karolyn Thompson, Chris Valdez, David Mancari, and United Way staff member Annette Sullivan.
Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum, Poughkeepsie
To celebrate Read Across America Day, the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum opened its doors for three readings for its visitors. Children were accompanied by their guardians as they joined together to listen to readings by United Way Community Impact Council member Kim Fragetta, Lisa Massarelli, Sarah Salem, Jeanne Wagner; Young Leaders United members Solomon Chouicha, Casey Conlin, Echo Hanson, Mallika Rao; volunteer Marge Shifini and United Way’s Marketing and Communications Intern Ashley Liso.
Newburgh Head Start, Newburgh
United Way Community Impact Council members Kathleen O'Keefe, Nadine Sheehan and Rachel Wilson along with United Way staff member Michelle Nepton read at Newburgh Head Start location at 49 Gidney Avenue.
If you would like to find similar volunteer opportunities, go to United Way’s volunteer portal located at volunteer.uwdor.org.