National Campaign Breaks the World Record for the Largest Shared Reading Experience and Raises Awareness of the Early Education Crisis
BOSTON, MA, October 25, 2012 – Jumpstart, a national early education non-profit organization, today announced that its 2012 Read for the Record campaign has successfully broken the world reading record, surpassing last year’s record of 2.2 million adults and children who participated in the 2011 campaign. On October 4, 2,385,305 adults and children read Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad, by David Soman and Jacky Davis on the same day. The record-breaking turnout included over 400,000 record-breakers who read a digital version of the book for free at www.wegivebooks.org – an increase of over 500% from 2011.
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. In the process, participants help to raise awareness in support of Jumpstart’s mission: to work toward the day every child in America enters school prepared to succeed.
As part of this year’s campaign, Jumpstart hosted nearly 250 Read for the Record events nationwide to set the new world reading record and raise awareness of the importance of quality early education. These reading events were supported by scores of individual reading celebrations in classrooms, libraries, offices, and community centers across the United States—including hundreds organized directly together with local community leaders by the Pearson Foundation.
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. Since the program’s inception in 2006, more than nine million readers have taken part, raising awareness about the importance of early reading and Jumpstart’s essential work in classrooms each day.
“We’re so excited to announce that this year’s Read for the Record has set a new world reading record,” said Naila Bolus, president and CEO of Jumpstart. “We want to thank everyone who participated in this year’s campaign. Together, we have not only broken a world reading record, but we’ve also raised much-needed awareness to the importance of high-quality early childhood education in our country.”
“Read for the Record is a powerful way for education leaders, teachers, parents, and children to come together to bring awareness to the ongoing early education crisis and the important role that Jumpstart plays every day in the lives of children across the United States,” said Mark Nieker, president and CEO of The Pearson Foundation. “We couldn’t be happier that—for the seventh consecutive year—more people than ever have taken part in this one-day celebration.”
For more information on Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, please visit jstart.org/readfortherecord.
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 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.
About We Give Books
We Give Books (www.wegivebooks.org) is a philanthropic program from the Penguin Group and the Pearson Foundation that helps children become a lifelong readers and givers. We Give Books supports literacy through programs that engage entire communities. Working around the world through programs like Booktime and Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, Penguin and the Pearson Foundation have touched millions of lives.
The Pearson Foundation
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