Return to Headlines

“Read Across America” Expands Vision to “Celebrate a Nation of Diverse Readers”

WEST ORANGE, NJ – West Orange Schools welcomed parents, students, township officials, police, administrators, and more for the National Education Association’s (NEA) “Read Across America” day on March 2.

Now in its 25th year, Read Across America began as a way to encourage children to learn the joys of reading, and the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss was chosen as Read Across America Day. Schools enjoyed Dr. Seuss book readings and visits from Dr. Seuss characters. Over the past few years, the NEA has begun to rebrand  RAC day, broadening its scope to move from a focused celebration of Dr. Seuss to a more expansive celebration of diverse books, authors, and readers all year long entitled “Celebrate a Nation of Diverse Readers.” 

“To promote literacy and highlight various genres, authors and stories, beginning this year, we will adopt an NEA theme in order to provide a wealth of support and vetted resources for our teachers and staff,” said Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Eveny de Mendez.

“For the 2022-2023 school year, West Orange Public Schools will adopt the NEA’s March 2023 theme Bring Communities Together,” she stated.

Utilizing the “Bring Communities Together” theme provided a focus and foundation for schools and teachers to plan their Read Across America events, guest readers and text selections. It also created a bridge between Read Across America Day on March 2, Read Across America Week during the first week of March and National Reading Month during the month of March.

The NEA March 2023 “Bring Communities Together” theme includes an elementary, middle school and young adult book of the month that serve as anchor texts. The NEA March 2023, Bring Communities Together books of the month are: 

“In the spirit of Read Across America, the district hopes to expand our celebration beyond our elementary schools to all schools across the district and our community. To reinforce literacy as a priority in our district, so let's Read Across West Orange!” de Mendez concluded.

RAC Kelly

Town Council President Tammy Williams, Kelly Principal David Marion, and Mayor Susan McCartney (Photo by Ryan Stanley)

RAC -  Wash

Former Mayor Rob Parisi, a graduate of Washington, reads to students

RAC - Wash

ELA Supervisor for K-5 Beatrice Hanratty


World Languages Supervisor Felix Plata

RAC - Wash

Director of Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion Tamika Pollins and Washington Principal Marie DeMaio

RAC - Wash

Sgt. Padilla of WOPD

Wash RAC

Hazel Library Media Specialist Joyce Soto with son at Washington

Cynthia Cumming
March 5, 2023