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Six New Jersey schools from Middlesex, Monmouth, and Ocean County have been selected to join forces with mayors from their communities, Monmouth University School of Education Dean Lynn Romeo, faculty, administrators, and undergraduate teacher education candidates to promote engagement, interest, and wide reading and writing for first grade students in three counties.

The following mayors and schools are participating in the Mayor’s Book Club:

Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz (James J. Flynn Elementary School)

Old Bridge Mayor Owen Henry (James McDivitt Elementary School)

Hazlet Mayor David Tinker (Middle Road Elementary School)

Eatontown Mayor Gerald Tarantolo (Margaret L. Vetter School)

Point Pleasant Mayor William Schroeder (Nellie F. Bennett Elementary School)

Brick Mayor Stephen Acropolis (Drum Point Elementary School)

The Mayor’s Book Club is designed to support and enhance the literacy development of first graders. The students participating in the program will read a total of eight books over a four-month period starting in January and will have the opportunity to be read to by a special guest reader, their own Mayor. Each student who participates in the program will receive a book at the conclusion of the program. In addition, the participating first grades in each school that have read at least 1,000 books will be given $1,000 to be spent on books for their first-grade classroom libraries.

Dean of Monmouth University School of Education Lynn Romeo stated: “We are excited to partner with local mayors and community leaders on this important initiative to help develop strong literacy skills of young readers and prepare them to be successful in the 21st Century.”