What is Celebrity Read?

Celebrity Read is a long-standing literacy initiative created by United Way of Essex and West Hudson in 1990, with a primary goal of recruiting volunteers to model their love for reading from pre-k to 4th grade elementary classrooms in its service area. In recognition of the program’s unique service to the community, it has been designated as a “Local Legacy” by the Library of Congress in 2001.

Did you know?

• Students reading at and above grade level in 3rd grade, graduate from high school at higher rates than students below grade level.

• Children who are read to for 30 minutes per week for a school year show significant gains in their reading score and in other subjects.

• Across the nation, just under half of the children between birth and five years (47.8%) are read to every day by their parents or other family members.

What makes you a Celebrity Reader?

United Way believes that everyone can be a “celebrity” in the life of a child and by volunteering time between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. from Monday through Friday at one or more participating schools during the month of February, you can become a celebrity reader! If you are part of a company/organization, we welcome you to adopt a school by recruiting a minimum of 10 volunteers from your workplace to represent you at a school.

This year’s theme is Explore Imagine Read! Discovering Infinite Possibilities through Reading.

If you are interesting in joining us for Celebrity Read 2019, please click the link below and register to become a reader at one or more of our 21 participating schools. For more information about the program, please contact Karen Leach-Toomer at 973-854-2249 or email her at ktoomer@uwewh.org.


All Celebrity Read events have passed. Thank you to everyone who participated this year!