GLEN BURNIE, MD (March 8, 2024) — Pedestrian and road safety was the message this week as Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administrator Chrissy Nizer and Community Engagement team members from the MVA’s Maryland Highway Safety Office celebrated National Read Across America Week, by reading Cheswick the Crab and the Smart Summer at schools across the state.

Throughout the week, Administrator Nizer, who also serves as Governor Wes Moore’s Highway Safety Representative, read to hundreds of students at Forest Hill Elementary School (Forest Hill), Ocean City Elementary School (Ocean City), Judith P. Hoyer Montessori School (Landover), Harriett Tubman Elementary School (Gaithersburg) and Gunpowder Elementary School (Nottingham). Administrator Nizer and Community Engagement team members were joined by safety mascot “Cheswick the Crab,” who urges motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians to be alert and follow the rules of the road.


“I want to thank schools across the state for welcoming me, Cheswick the Crab, and the Highway Safety Office’s Community Engagement staff for Read Across America Week. It is vital that we start teaching and reinforcing life-saving messages to children at a young age” said Administrator Nizer. “Children are often the ones who set the example and teach adults about critical safety issues. It is my hope that these opportunities to spread the crucial message of safe driving, walking and biking with the next generation of Maryland motorists and pedestrians will make a difference.  Interacting with these young people reminds me and my colleagues why we do what we do every day.”

Administrator Nizer and the MVA’s Highway Safety Office routinely visit classrooms and events to teach students of all ages about the importance of traffic safety.

“By participating in Read Across America, our team gets to connect with students and have key discussions about road safety in ways that make learning fun. MVA is proud to support the Moore-Miller Administration’s commitment to improving literacy across our state and supporting the dedicated educators on the frontlines of this work,” added Nizer.

After each session, copies of Cheswick the Crab and the Smart Summer were donated to the schools. Teachers were also provided supplemental activity sheets to continue the lessons learned about pedestrian safety.

Read Across America Day is part of National Reading Month, observed every March to encourage Americans of all ages to read every day. For more information on this day and other observances during the month, visit the National Education Association website.