PATERSON, NJ - Hundreds of Paterson children and parents joined together at School 25 Friday to celebrate their city’s diversity through music, food, and reading.

“We want every nationality working together to increase reading, especially in the summer,” Bridget Arrick, Paterson Public Schools Office of Family and Community Engagement, told TAPinto Paterson.

The event, sponsored by Mayor Andre Sayegh and 6th Ward Councilman Al Abdelaziz, and co-hosted by the School 25 PTO, also served as a kickoff of the school’s summer reading initiative, Arrick added.

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Spread out across the school’s field were tables representing Colombia, Palestine, Dominican Republic, Turkey, and Peru, each featuring celebrations of their culture. 

Among the children picking up books for summer reading were Brisa, 9, Antonio, 8, and Ellie, 6.

“Reading teaches everyone,” Antonio said clutching his copy of Firehouse Dog, while Ellie guessed she’d finish her 338 page When my Heart Joins the Thousand, a book she picked because it looked “interesting”, in a week.

Not to be left out Ellie was quick to say she’d read her books because “they’re fun.”

“This is what our community is about,” Abdelaziz said surveying the crowd. “It’s an honor and privilege to stand side by side with these families.”


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