Students take part in Read Across America Day

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HILLSIDE, NJ — Hillside Innovation Academy’s Read Across America Day was a huge success. The event actually took place over the course of two days, March 2 and 3, with guest readers each selecting a book and a discussion question to use during their 30-minute time slot with the school’s seventh- and eighth-graders. The day was not so much about guests reading to middle schoolers; it was about the guests engaging the students in rich discussion on issues affecting communities today and to shed light on the fact that, with “Grit” — a book by Angela Duckworth, read that week by New Jersey Department of Education acting Commissioner Angelica Allen-McMillan — anything is possible.

Guest readers included parents Latoya Morgan, Stacey Johnson and Cisely Breeden; Municipal Council President Craig Epps and council member Reginald Atkins; Allen-McMillan, state Sen. Joseph Cryan and interim Executive County Superintendent Daryl Palmieri; and HIA supporters Rev. Keion Jackson and Denise Nash-Luckenbach from Kean University’s School of Nursing. Hillside Public Schools Board of Education Vice President Laquana Best, Superintendent Erskine Glover, educational consultant Anthony Salters, Calvin Coolidge School Principal Rahim Graham and scholar Adelyn Fernandez Jimenez were also among the guest readers. The event’s theme was “Reading to Paint Words of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.”

Photos Courtesy of Nicole Gilmore-Silva