ORANGE, NJ - The Orange Township Public School District announced the Orange Page Turners 2020-2021 Reading Challenge in partnership with the City of Orange, Scholastic Inc., Reading Plus, ValleyArts, Inc., HANDS, Inc., North Jersey Alumnae Chapter Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Eta Pi Chapter. These organizations have joined together to promote reading and increase students capacity and fluency in the Orange Public Schools.

The program challenges students, staff, parents, and other city residents and employees to join the quest to read one million pages from Thanksgiving 2020 to May Day 2021. Schools in the district will be participating in the challenge by engaging in a friendly competition to see which school can read the most pages.

Superintendent of Schools Gerald Fitzhugh, II, Ed.D. knows that reading is at the heart of student achievement and asks the community to join the district in taking the challenge, “The more we read, the better readers we become, and what a great example to set for our students”. In leading the district's effort, Director of English Language Arts and Testing Karen Harris encourages the entire community to help in the quest to promote literacy. “The objective is to get students, parents, and community members throughout the municipality involved in reading”; she said, citing that adult literacy is an issue in our country and here in our city. “Statistics show that approximately 50% of Americans cannot perform simple tasks, such as reading prescription drug labels. Moreover, 20% of Americans read below the level needed to earn a living wage, as cited by noted literacy and government institutions.” (Source: National Institute for Literacy, National Center for Adult Literacy, The Literacy Company, and U.S. Census Bureau).

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The virtual program kick-off, scheduled for Thursday, November 19 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., will explain how community members can get involved and support this academic effort. School administrators and classroom teachers will inform students of the 2020-2021 reading challenge before kick-off and instruct them on recording the number of pages read from Thanksgiving to May Day. To register for the launch, visit www.orange.k12.nj.us/PageTurners.Community members can register for the challenge through the online reading platform via the district's website at www.orange.k12.nj.us /PageTurnersSignUp. After registering, participants will receive an email confirming their entry, with directions on updating the number of pages they have read.

Individuals and organizations that read the most pages win the competition and earn the title “Most Well-Read” for the current challenge year. Individuals can accumulate pages for themselves and the organization they support or donate pages to a school or group. However, the total is only counted once in the overall quest to achieve one million pages read. The Orange Page Turners Reading Challenge will award prizes for 1st through 3rd place in the following categories: Children/Schools in Grades PreK-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, and Grades 9-12. Adult award categories include adults less than 60 years, seniors aged 60 and over, and residents and community- based organizations. For more information on the Orange Page Turners Reading Challenge, visit the district website at www.orange.k12.nj.us/PageTurnersChallenge or contact Karen Harris at 973 677 4000 ext. 6088.

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