PORT JERVIS—On Read Across America Day, County Executive Steven Neuhaus read to students in Melissa Pulsinelli’s third grade class at Anna S. Kuhl Elementary School in Port Jervis. March 2 was Read Across America Day and the birthday of the children’s author Dr. Seuss.
Despite a heavy schedule, Neuhaus said it was an important event. “The benefit is obviously to get out and meet the kids and to, hopefully, inspire them to read more. But it’s also a time for me to meet with these young kids.”
The day landed on a Wednesday, so it had to be Wacky Wednesday, which is no ordinary day. Funny things can happen. The county exec did a wacky thing—he wore his jacket inside out as he read “Sneetches” by Dr. Seuss.
Assistant Principal Nicole Ey escorted the county executive through the school. “We are just thrilled to have him, that he chose our school to come and speak with the kids.” She said Neuhaus’s appearance on Read Across America Day made a point: “[Reading] is fundamental in the world. Everything is reading. A lot of the kids do computerized stuff today, but if they can’t read, they can’t even get on the computer. It’s a lifelong thing,” she said.
Neuhaus’s next reading stop that day was at the Boys and Girls Club of Newburgh. He said it made a big impression when he did a reading the first time last year. “The young kids sat and talked to me. One of them asked me if I was a police officer and that his father was incarcerated. One of them told me [the Boys and Girls Club] was the only place they had to go to in Newburgh.” He said it opened his eyes to the needs out there in the community.
Neuhaus obviously enjoyed interacting with the younger residents of the county. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world. That’s what it honestly means to me. It’s his birthday,” he said, referring to Dr. Seuss. “It’s good stuff.”
‘Early and Often’
The presidential proclamation of Read Across America Day 2016 encourages young people to read and read a lot. “From a child’s first foray into the depths of a story to an adult’s escape into a world of words, reading plays an integral role in our lives.
“Works of fiction and nonfiction alike pique interest and inspiration and shape our understanding of each other and ourselves, teaching us lessons in kindness and humility, responsibility and respect. The moment we persuade a child to pick up a book for the first time we change their lives forever for the better, and on Read Across America Day, we recommit to getting literary works into our young peoples’ hands early and often.”
The proclamation goes on to honor children’s author Theodore Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss. “As Dr. Seuss noted, ‘The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.’ Together, we can help all children go plenty of places along their unending journey for knowledge and ensure everyone can find joy and satisfaction in the wonders of the written word.”
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