LIVINGSTON, NJ - On March 1, The National Education Association’s Read Across America swept through The Horizon School as 60 community volunteers armed with Dr. Seuss hats and stories flooded the school’s hallways and classrooms. “It’s a day to celebrate reading and volunteerism,” said Carol Ammann, Horizon Social Worker.
National Read Across America Day is celebrated on March 1 of every year in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday. It’s a movement to encourage children to start reading at an early age. The Horizon School, which specializes in educating students with Cerebral Palsy and other special needs, is courted every year by community leaders, businesses, students and families to honor this celebration.
The reading kicked off with guests and students being paired off in the school gymnasium. In pairs they settled in different areas of the school to enjoy one on one reading time. “I wish I did this last year – it was more emotional than I expected,” explained Shelly Lazarescu . Shelly was one of 12 volunteers from WISS & Co., a local business in Livingston. “It’s our fourth year of involvement, and each year we get more involved,” said Monte Ehrenkranz, one of 10 volunteers from Regal Bank.
After the reading, guests were offered tours of the facility which included a stop to the newly renovated Library and Volunteer Center. Volunteers also had a chance to speak with the school administrators and teachers to find out more about day to day operations. Principle Peggy Walsh told her guests to “pat yourselves on the back because you did something special for a child today.”
The Horizon School in Livingston is part of the Cerebral Palsy of North New Jersey. It currently has 74 students and 75 staff members, creating a one to one ratio of care. The school is comprised of 75% Cerebral Palsy and 25% other special needs children.