National Campaign Again Brings Attention to Early Education Crisis
BOSTON, MA, March 13, 2012 – Jumpstart and the Pearson Foundation announced today that Penguin’s Otis, by New York Times bestselling author Loren Long, has been selected as the official book of the 2013 Jumpstart’s Read for the Record campaign. Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, now in its eighth year, is an annual reading celebration that highlights the need for high-quality early education in America by mobilizing adults and children to set a record for the largest shared reading experience. Last year, more than 2.3 million people participated in the record-breaking campaign.
This year, Jumpstart’s Read for the Record will take place on Thursday, October 3rd, a day in which millions of young people and adults will come together to read Otis in support of early education. As in years past, record breakers will be able to help set a new world record by reading the book for free at We Give Books (www.wegivebooks.org), the free digital reading initiative created by Penguin and the Pearson Foundation.
Since the campaign’s inception in 2006, more than nine million people have joined local Jumpstart’s Read for the Record reading celebrations and over $8 million has been raised to support Jumpstart’s year-round work in preschools in low-income neighborhoods. In addition, the Pearson Foundation has donated 1.2 million books to local schools, libraries, and community organizations in conjunction with the annual campaign.
”Jumpstart’s Read for the Record is a meaningful way for Americans to support the critical need for high-quality early education in our country,” said Jumpstart’s president and CEO, Naila Bolus. “We know that for children living in low-income communities, this need is significant. By the time these children enter kindergarten, they are already 60% behind their more affluent peers. Jumpstart’s Read for the Record brings light to this national issue and gives citizens a platform to voice their support for this cause.”
“A high-quality early education is an essential first step for every child, and Jumpstart ensures that children in the low income communities it serves have the best chance possible to begin school ready to learn,” said Mark Nieker, President and CEO, Pearson Foundation. “Together with Penguin, we are looking forward to our eighth year organizing, supporting and taking part in Read for the Record—and in the process to drawing attention to all Jumpstart does year-around in classrooms across the United States.. We’re particularly pleased that Loren Long, who was part of our first Read for the Record celebration in 2006, is such an essential part of this year’s campaign. ”
Otis is a timeless story of a friendship between a lovable tractor and a calf that live on a farm. Otis is replaced by a new tractor and learns the meaning of perseverance and true friendship when the calf needs his help. For more information about Otis, please visit http://www.lorenlong.com/otis/otis.html.
To learn more about supporting Jumpstart and participating in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, visit http://jstart.org.
Jumpstart is a national early education organization working toward the day every child in America enters kindergarten 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 Penguin Young Readers Group
Penguin Young Readers Group is one of the leading children's book publishers in the United States. The company owns a wide range of imprints and trademarks including Dial Books, Dutton, Grosset & Dunlap, Philomel, Puffin, Speak, Firebird, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, Viking, Razorbill, and Frederick Warne. These imprints are home to such award-winning, New York Times– bestselling authors as, Laurie Halse Anderson, Jay Asher, Judy Blume, Jan Brett, Eric Carle, Roald Dahl, Tomie dePaola, Sarah Dessen, Anna Dewdney, John Green, Anthony Horowitz, John Flanagan, Mike Lupica, Richelle Mead, Richard Peck, Patricia Polacco, and dozens of other popular authors.
Penguin Young Readers Group is also the proud publisher of perennial brand franchises such as The Little Engine That Could, the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series, Peter Rabbit, Spot, the Classic Winnie the Pooh, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Strega Nona, Madeline, Mad Libs, Alex Rider, the Rangers Apprentice, Skippyjon Jones, Flower Fairies, and Pippi Longstocking, among many others.
Penguin Young Readers Group is a division of Penguin Group (USA), the U.S. member of the internationally renowned Penguin Group, one of the largest English-language trade book publishers in the world. The Penguin Group is owned by Pearson plc, the international media group.