Celebrity Read

United Way Celebrity Read

United Way of Essex and West Hudson’s Community Impact Plan addresses issues that  prioritizes the creation of and investment in strategic collaborations to address our 10-year goals in education, income and health.

One of the benchmarks in United Way’s 10-year goal to decrease dropouts by 50% and increase graduation rates by 87% is to ensure that youth in our community are reading proficiently by  4th grade.

Reading proficiency by third grade is the most important predictor of high school graduation and career success.  Many initiatives are underway to address the most important factors of early grade reading: school readiness, chronic absenteeism, parent engagement, summer learning loss, and literacy.  Celebrity Read is a “local legacy” literacy initiative that recruits volunteers to model their love of reading and the pursuit of education as a pathway to success in local elementary school classrooms.

United Way believes that everyone can be a “celebrity” in the life of a child and we encourage those who want to be positively engaged with our communities’ youth to become Celebrity Readers.  Created in 1990, Celebrity Read was designated a “Local Legacy” in 2001 by the Library of Congress in recognition of the program’s unique service to the community.

Throughout the month, volunteer readers visit designated school sites to read age-appropriate books with students and describe their profession while emphasizing the importance of reading and education. Celebrity Read proudly recruits over 200 volunteers and works with over 10,000 students, annually.

Here’s was our  schedule for Celebrity Read 2014.

East Orange
Benjamin Banneker Academy – Feb 4
Edward Brower Sr. Unique School of Excellence -Feb 19
Dionne Warwick Institute of Economics Entrepreneurship - Feb 20

Irvington
Madison Avenue School – Feb 7
Thurgood Marshall – Feb 11
Augusta Preschool Academy – Feb 12
Florence Ave School – Feb 14
Berkeley Terrace Elementary – Feb 19

Maplewood
Clinton Elementary School – Feb 10

Newark
Camden Street Elementary School – Feb 3
Cleveland Renewed School – Feb 4
Speedway School- Feb 6
Louise A. Spencer School – Feb 7
13th Avenue School- Feb 13
Eagle Academy – Feb 18
Madison Elementary School – Feb 18
Quitman Street Community School – Feb 20
Hawthorne Avenue School- Feb 21

Orange
Heywood Avenue Elementary School – Feb 5
Lincoln Avenue School – Feb 5
Rosa Parks Community School – Feb 6

Literacy Facts:

  • Students reading at and above grade level in 3rd grade graduate from high school at higher rates than students below grade level.
  • Children who are read to for 30 minutes per week for a school year evidence significant gains in their reading scores and in other subjects.
  • Nationally, 1 in 10 kindergarten students are chronically absent each year.
  • By third grade, chronically absent students are less likely to read on grade level.
  • By sixth grade, chronic absence becomes an early warning sign that a student may drop out of high school.
  • By ninth grade, school attendance is a better indicator than eighth-grade test scores.
  • Regular attendance, from a child’s first day in school, is essential to long-term academic success.
  • Many parents don’t see absences as a problem if they are excused or if they are not on consecutive days. Every absence counts!
  • Parents also don’t always make the connection between attendance in elementary and middle school and eventual graduation from high school.
  • Across the nation just under half of children between birth and five years (47.8%) are read to every day by their parents or other family members.

Celebrity Read Photo Galleries

Breakfast 2011                                   Lincoln School Harrison 2012

Branch Brook School Newark 2012     Camden School Newark 2012

Belmont Ave School Newark 2013