HILLSBOROUGH, NJ – Members of the Hillsborough Middle School TOPS visited Triangle Elementary School students Tuesday morning morning to celebrate National Read Across America Day, sponsored nationwide by the National Education Association.

Students at Triangle also brought in their favorite stuffed animals so that they could 'Drop Everything and Read' – and as a tribute to Dr. Seuss and “The Cat in the Hat,” they ate green eggs and ham for lunch in the school cafeteria, according to Kia Bergman, Community Outreach coordinator for Hillsborough Township Schools.

TOPS is an acronym for “Together Our Peers Succeed,” an eighth-grade leadership program at the middle school.

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Reading to the younger students at Triangle Elementary School is just the latest of several projects involving members of TOPS:

·         Collecting food and supplies for the Somerset County Regional Animal Shelter

·         Sponsoring Breast Cancer Awareness with "Pink for a Purpose" Fundraiser

·         Collecting daily health supplies for the Somerset Youth Shelter

·         Sponsoring of various spirit days

·         Organizing various fundraisers, including Valentine carnation sale

·         Decorating the commons during the holidays

·         The End of the Year Carnival and Dance in conjunction with Student Council

TOPS advisor is Lucinda Ferreri.

NEA's Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children's author Dr. Seuss. It was first organized in 1998.

Motivating children to read is an important factor in student achievement and creating lifelong successful readers, according to the NEA. Research has shown that children who are motivated and spend more time reading do better in school.

At the national level, the National Education Association sponsors and spearheads the program with support from more than 50 national nonprofit and association partners. Locally, everyone-from schools to libraries to community centers to churches to hospitals to bookstores-is invited to host local events to celebrate and promote children's reading.

More than 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers participated in the March 2 Read Across American celebration.