[NEWARK, NJ – December 11, 2018] – Students from Oliver Street School in Newark, NJ cheered on classmates as they paraded through the school hallways in route to their first Pep Rally for Reading! The event marks the official launch of United Way of Essex and West Hudson’s (UWEWH) My Very Own Library (MVOL) program in the 2018-2019 school year, which will give 22,000 students from 35 Newark Public Schools the opportunity to self-select free new books from special MVOL Scholastic Book Fairs. The 22,000 Newark Public Schools’ students will take home 10 FREE books, totaling over 220,000 books by the end of the school year! All 35 participating schools will also host 3 family literacy events during the school year, and will each receive an inspiring visit from an award-winning children’s author!

On December 11, 2018, in addition to the pep rally, and a surprise video message from Senator Cory Booker, six authors also paid special visits to 12 Newark Public Schools as part of the My Very Own Library literacy event celebrations: Eric LuperNatasha TarpleyDaphne Benedis-GrabMarisa Polansky, Stephen Savage, and Gale Galligan.

Read more about this My Very Own Library event on Scholastic’s On Our Minds’ Blog HERE.