Celebrating Read Across America Day in the Hudson Valley

Goshen, N.Y. - Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus participated in “Read Across America Day” at Anna S. Kuhl Elementary School (ASK) in Port Jervis and the Boys and Girls Club in Newburgh on Wednesday.

The National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America Day is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that asks communities to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of Dr. Seuss. The author and illustrator, who died in September of 1991, would have turned 112 on Wednesday.

Neuhaus was joined at ASK by Orange County Legislator Tom Faggione. Later in the day, Neuhaus read to children ages 5-8 at the Boys and Girls Club in Newburgh. The Boys and Girls Club partnered with the United Way of the Dutchess-Orange region to hold the event. 

“I was honored to have an opportunity to read to the wonderful students at ASK Elementary and the Boys and Girls Club as part of Read Across America Day,” Neuhaus said. “Both groups were a lot of fun and I think that it’s important to celebrate reading with our children. I want to thank Anna S. Kuhl Elementary School and the Boys and Girls for inviting me. Spending time with the youth of the County is an inspiring and rewarding part of my job.”

Neuhaus read the Dr. Seuss book “The Sneetches” to Melissa Pulsinelli’s first-grade class at ASK. The students told Neuhaus that it was “Wacky Wednesday” when he entered the classroom, a reference to one of Dr. Seuss’ books. So the County Executive read to the group with his jacket inside out and backward. Neuhaus read “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” to the students at the Boys and Girls Club. When asked, Neuhaus stated that his favorite Dr. Seuss book is “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”

“We were elated to have County Neuhaus read a Dr. Seuss story to us,” said Dareshanie D’Arpino, program director of the Boys and Girls Club. “Literacy and reading is a huge component of our programming here at the Boys and Girls Club of Newburgh. Having guest speakers at an event such as Read Across America added a fun and exciting element to our program. There were a lot of smiling kids today. Events such as this encourage the joy of reading.”

According to the NEA, motivating children to read is an important factor in student achievement. NEA research has shown that children who are motivated and spend more time reading perform better in school. The NEA sponsors Read Across America Day with support from more than 50 national non-profit and association partners.

“We were truly honored that Mr. Neuhaus celebrated Read Across America Day with us,” said Nicole Ey, ASK’s assistant principal. “I think he really enjoyed experiencing the excitement, enthusiasm, and love for reading that our students and faculty have. We appreciate that he took time out of his demanding schedule to celebrate with us.”