On October 19th, Jumpstart’s 12th Read for the Record saw celebrations in all 50 states and readers from over 60 countries! Quackers created inspiring conversations, brought out local officials and celebrity guest readers, and connected communities as volunteers, teachers, students, and families read together.
Jumpstart offices brought Quackers to life at events across the country while Jumpstart Corps members read the book with their partner children in preschool classrooms from coast to coast.
Jumpstart National Board members Bridget Moynahan and Nigel Barker read to local preschoolers in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and Josh Duhamel streamed a reading on Facebook Live from his son’s preschool in Los Angeles. In Boston, the First Lady of Massachusetts, Lauren Baker, narrated a live production of Quackers with other notable guests such as Linda Henry of the Boston Globe; Tom Weber, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care; CEO of the Mass Service Alliance Emily Haber; Boston’s Chief of Education Rahn Dorsey; and Jordan Meranus (one of Jumpstart’s founders!) acting out the roles of Quackers, Mittens, and their friends.
Local Board member Cynthia Mitchell and National Board member Lorie Almon planned Seyfarth Shaw’s third annual volunteer event with a story reading and activities in the Bronx.
In Atlanta, celebrated Congressman John Lewis read to a class at the Sheltering Arms Model Teaching Center, while the First Lady of Atlanta, Sarah-Elizabeth Reed, attended and event at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta. AmeriCorps Director Chester Spellman jumped into the festivities in DC at our event at George Washington University.
Our Northern California office hosted another great event at the San Francisco Public Library with corporate volunteers from PwC, Wells Fargo, Oakwood, and The Abd Team, where we were presented with a Certificate of Recognition by Field Representative Kenneth Chen from the office of California Assembly member David Chiu. Finally, this year’s author, Liz Wong, had a very busy day in her hometown of Seattle, reading at the public library, visiting a Jumpstart classroom, and then doing another reading at a local bookstore to celebrate her book Quackers!
But it wasn’t just Jumpstart offices that got in on the fun! Across the country and around the globe, classrooms, schools, and even entire communities were enjoying Quackers and raising their voices to spread the message of early literacy. Teachers dressed up in fabulous cat and duck costumes. Miss America representatives read in their crowns and sashes at local schools and community centers. Educators and community leaders created special posters, ponds, activities, and even a live duck parade to make the celebration as big and memorable as possible.
Government officials got involved in celebrating too. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, US Representative Joe Courtney from Connecticut, US Senator Heidi Heitkamp from North Dakota, US Representative Adriano Espaillat from New York, Representative Gene Wu of Texas, US Representative Jim McGovern and Senator Ryan Fattman of Massachusetts, Miami Superintendent Alberto Cavalho, and more visited a variety of schools and events in their communities to read Quackers and join in on the Read for the Record fun!
Even corporations participated across the country, reading Quackers in local schools and community centers. Our presenting sponsor, Franklin Templeton Investments (FTI), had nearly 100 volunteers read with 1,000+ students at schools in California, Florida, and New York. One group of FTI employees even brought a duck into class with them!
The celebrations were truly creative, inspiring, and impactful. In Texas, one school district held a live Twitter chat with great questions like, “Has your class ever had a new student? What did you do to make them feel welcome?” where teachers and children responded with notes and videos. And Broward County, Florida, hosted activities all day, providing more than 40,000 books to local children!
The day was an incredible testament to the joy of reading and the importance of early literacy for all children. We were thrilled to discover all the different ways our friends near and far celebrated reading Quackers with us. Thank you for all of the ways you made this year’s Read for the Record the best day of the year!
Check out more photos in the galleries below.