Jumpstart Kicks off 2012 Read for the Record® Campaign

National Campaign to Break World Reading Record on October 4 and Raise Awareness of Early Education Crisis

BOSTON, MA, September 25, 2012Jumpstart, a national early education non-profit organization, today announced the official kick-off to its 2012 Read for the Record campaign. As part of this year’s campaign, Jumpstart will host nearly 250 Read for the Record events nationwide to set a new world reading record and raise awareness of the importance of quality early education.

Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, presented in partnership with the Pearson Foundation, is the one day each year when millions of individuals come together to celebrate literacy by breaking the world record for reading the same book on the same day. On October 4, adults and children across the country will read Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad, by David Soman and Jacky Davis, in support of Jumpstart’s mission: to work toward the day every child in America enters school prepared to succeed.

“We’re so excited to kick off this year’s Read for the Record and invite millions of people to participate in the world’s largest shared reading experience,” said Naila Bolus, president and CEO of Jumpstart. “Through Read for the Record, everyone can play a role in raising awareness of the early education crisis in our country.”

This year’s reading event marks the seventh consecutive year in which Jumpstart and the Pearson Foundation have sought to showcase the important role that reading has in shaping a life of learning and success. In low-income neighborhoods, children start kindergarten 60 percent behind their peers from affluent communities, leaving them unprepared when it’s time to start school. When children start school behind, they are more likely to stay behind for the rest of their lives and this gap only widens over time.

“Jumpstart makes an essential difference to young people, helping to make sure that they begin school well prepared to succeed in school and in life,” said Mark Nieker, president and CEO of The Pearson Foundation. “The Pearson Foundation has been honored to be part of Jumpstart’s Read for the Record campaign from the very start. We’re proud of the impact the campaign has made in the lives of so many children and we invite record-breakers everywhere to join us again this year.”

In 2011 alone, Jumpstart’s Read for the Record impacted 2.2 million individuals, raising awareness of the early education crisis and Jumpstart’s role in helping students in pre-school classrooms across the United States.

As part of this year’s Read for the Record, Jumpstart has partnered with GRAMMY Award winning, multi-platinum artist, Ashanti, who will serve as the official celebrity ambassador for the campaign. As celebrity ambassador, Ashanti made a special appearance on the TODAY Show on September 24, 2012 as part of NBC News’ Education Nation Summit coverage to encourage people to participate in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record on October 4, 2012. To view photos from the TODAY Show segment, please visit Jumpstart’s Read for the Record kick-off.

Again this year, record breakers will also be able to take part in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record by reading Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad for free at We Give Books (www.wegivebooks.org), the free digital reading initiative created by Penguin and the Pearson Foundation.

The 2012 Jumpstart’s Read for the Record partners include founding and presenting campaign sponsor The Pearson Foundation, Bright Horizons, Comcast, Franklin Templeton, Groupon, Lakeshore Learning Materials, The Penguin Young Readers Group, Starbucks, Tommy Hilfiger and Sprout.

For more information on Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, please visit www.jstart.org/readfortherecord. For information on how to get a copy of Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad, please visit http://www.jstart.org/campaigns/get-book.

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About Jumpstart

Jumpstart is a national early education organization working toward the day every child in America enters school prepared to succeed. Jumpstart delivers a research-based and cost-effective program by training college students and community volunteers to serve preschool-age children in low-income neighborhoods. Through a proven curriculum, these children develop the language and literacy skills they need to be ready for school, setting them on a path for lifelong success. Jumpstart is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. Learn more at www.jstart.org.

About The Pearson Foundation

The Pearson Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that aims to make a difference by promoting literacy, learning, and great teaching. The Pearson Foundation collaborates with leading businesses, nonprofits, and education experts to share good practice; foster innovation; and find workable solutions to the educational disadvantages facing young people and adults across the globe. More information on the Pearson Foundation can be found at www.pearsonfoundation.org.

Press Contacts

Eva Pereira
Jumpstart
857.413.4569
Eva.Pereira@jstart.org

Stacey Finkel
Pearson Foundation
703.304.1377
stacey.finkel@pearsonfoundation.org

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