Reading is one of the most valuable and beneficial skills ever learned in life. In today's world the ability to read is extremely important to survival. It's nearly impossible to go through life without this skill. A skill this vital to a person's life is best learned at a young age. The N.E.A. sponsors the project Read Across America that does just that. It focuses on getting the youth of America to participate and read!
    March 2nd, Dr. Seuss's birthday, is the date of one of America's most renowned events, Read Across America. This year's theme is "Oh, The Places You Will Go", which is also the title of a 1990 book by Dr. Seuss. The National Chairperson for the project this year is Morgan Freeman. He's an actor who has starred in Driving Miss Daisy and Nurse Betty who says, "At Home, at school, at work at play, reading is part of everyday". The N.E.A sponsors this great event, but it is the helpers that make it such a success.

    Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center is sending volunteers for the fourth year in a row to Stanwood Elementary School, which is across the road from C.W.C.T.C. This year sixteen students in the morning will read to twenty-eight A.M. classes and two students in the afternoon will read to the two afternoon pre-school classes. Mr. Purnell, a Painting and Decorating Teacher and Mrs. Sassos, an instructional aid for Health Assistants will accompany the readers. They had a lot to say about the productiveness and overall benefits of the project. Mr. Purnell, the head supervisor of the Read Across America program here at C.W.C.T.C. stated that, "I am proud to be a part of the Read Across America program as a representative from our school and of such a worth while event and I hope that it will continue permanently". Mrs. Sassos said, "I feel it gives our students an excellent opportunity to interact with younger children and gave them great public speaking skills".

    Some of the students that attended last year had a lot to say about the organization and it's benefits also. Matt Briney, an eleventh grade Norwin student stated, "I thought it was a great experience. It benefited them because we were the only students in the area. The students were nice and cooperative along with the teachers treating us the same way. It was also nice because of the attentiveness of the younger children due to their fondness of Dr. Seuss". Loni Ferretti, a junior at Hempfield Area High School said, "I liked it. It was interesting reading to little kids. The most fond memory I have, was when a little girl knocked over an easel and a board and when she looked up and saw me, the surprise on her face". Brandon Weixel, a senior at Norwin High School stated, "It was nice to see their smiling faces as we read to them. It gave them appreciation for Dr. Seuss and reading in general".

    The programs goals are to give the younger students a chance to comprehend reading from a different level and to learn more in a different and fun way. This also benefits our students by giving them an opportunity to read in front of a group and enhance their public speaking skills. These skills will last a lifetime and benefit both the younger generation and the older students.