SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Throughout the United States, 'Read Across America,' the annual reading motivation and awareness program, is celebrated annually on March 2 and, at a borough council meeting this week, Mayor Anesh proclaimed March 2021 as 'Read Across America' Month in South Plainfield. 

"… The citizens of the Borough of South Plainfield stand firmly committed to promoting reading as the catalyst for our students' future academic success, their preparation for American's jobs of the future, and their ability to compete in global economy," states the mayor's proclamation. 

Sponsored by the National Education Association (NEA), the first Read Across America event was held on March 2, 1998 – the birthday of children’s author Dr. Seuss – with the goal of motivating children to read and creating lifelong successful readers. Read Across America – NJ is conducted statewide by the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), in partnership with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, the New Jersey Library Association, and their affiliates across the state to 'promote reading and adult involvement in the education of our community's students.'

"The Borough of South Plainfield has provided significant leadership in the area of community involvement in the education of our youth, grounded in the principle that educational investment is key to the community's well-being and long-term quality of life…" stated the mayor in his proclamation, adding that he, along with the governing board of the borough, are calling upon residents to 'assure that every child is in a safe place reading together with a caring adult…' 

Cheryl Nagel-Smiley, president of the South Plainfield Public Library Board of Trustees, called into the virtual meeting to thank the mayor and council for recognizing March as 'Read Across America' month. "While we cannot have our usual 'Read Across America' celebration, our staff is busy at work providing virtual zoom programs for all ages [and] the library is still providing many services to the community," said Nagel-Smiley, adding, "on behalf of Linda Hansen, the director, as well as the board, thank you so much for this proclamation."

Stephanie Wolak, a trustee on the library board, also attended the meeting virtually added, "Our library staff is doing a wonderful job throughout…this whole pandemic. They are really doing a fabulous job…with all the programs they have available."

Councilwoman Christine Faustini also extended thanks to the library and library board as well as the school district, noting that the pandemic had made it 'challenging' for educators as well. "The schools are really trying to do other things to celebrate Read Across America and I just want to thank everyone in education, including our teachers, for also helping our kids to learn to love to read," Faustini said. 

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