UWDOR and five nonprofit partners celebrate the NEA’s Read Across America Day, Monday, March 2

Read Across America Day Steve Lant

On Monday, March 2, the United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region and five nonprofit partner organizations joined together to celebrate the National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss’ Birthday. Dutchess and Orange County students joined millions of their peers across the country to hear some of their favorite stories read aloud.

NEA’s Read Across America Day, March 2, 2015

Catharine Street Community Center, Poughkeepsie

Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro brought his personal copy of Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” to read about twenty-five students at the Catharine Street Community Center on Monday morning. The children gathered around Molinaro and enjoyed his rendition of this perennial favorite.

The Catharine Street students loved the appearance by Thing Two, aka United Way Council Member Karen Desmond of the Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, who delighted in reading another Seuss favorite to them.

When Steven V. Lant, the Interim President and CEO of the United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region, read a selection of nursery rhymes, the students not only recited along with him, but got up to sing and dance “Ring Around the Rosie.”

Other readers at Catharine Street included the Kimberly Kochem, Vice President Community Impact, and Carolyn Zazzarino, Vice President of Finance and Administration, both from the United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region.

Boys & Girls Club, Newburgh

Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus joined Orange County Councilwoman Shannon Wong, a Council Member of the United Way, as she read Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax” to about 15 second grade students at the Boys & Girls Club in Newburgh.

United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region Board Chair Steve Howell of Vanacore, DeBenedictus, DiGovanni and Weddell read to a first grade class, while United Way Second Vice Chair Dave Jolly of the Greater Hudson Valley Family Health Center read to a kindergarten class.

Kathleen Hickey, United Way’s Vice President for Resource Development, read “The Cat in the Hat” to a third grade class.

At the end of the program, the children lined up to receive a donated book to take home.

Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum, Poughkeepsie

Central Hudson employees were volunteer readers at the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum celebration of the NEA’s Read Across America Day. Parents and grandparents brought their children to the museum to share a love of reading and education.

“Central Hudson is pleased to have participated in this important initiative to share with children the joy of reading and to instill the value of learning at an early age. Our employees are equally as enthusiastic, serving as volunteers for this worthwhile effort,” noted Central Hudson President and CEO James P. Laurito, a board member of United Way. “It’s an example of how the United Way brings our community together to provide valuable programs for children and adults.”

Following a celebration of Read Across America Day in her district, Poughkeepsie City Schools Superintendent Dr. Nicole Williams, attended the museum event.

The NEA’s Read Across America Day celebrates a joy of reading and a love of learning – both epitomized by Dr. Seuss.

In advance of the NEA’s Read Across America Day, fifteen nonprofit partner organizations visited the United Way’s office in Poughkeepsie on February 13, to pick up books for their young readers. The 4,200 plus gently used books were gathered this fall by United Way community partners during the Book Blitz 2014 with 1,700 distributed to the nonprofit partners participating in the NEA’s Read Across America Day on March 2.

The nonprofit partner organizations that participated in the NEA’s Read Across America Day with the United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region are: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County, Boys & Girls Club of Newburgh, Catharine Street Community Center, Head Start of Eastern Orange County, and Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum.