Award-winning children’s book THANK YOU, OMU! named official book selection for Jumpstart’s 2019 Read for the Record campaign
May 16, 2019 (BOSTON) — Jumpstart, a national early education organization, today announced a new partnership with leading trade publisher of children’s books Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and the expansion of its collaboration with The TJX Companies, Inc. — a longtime Jumpstart contributor and first-time, exclusive Read for the Record Presenting Sponsor. The organizations will come together on November 7, 2019, for Jumpstart’s 14th annual Read for the Record campaign — a global effort to raise awareness about the importance of building early literacy and language skills for EVERY child, so that all children have the opportunity to enter kindergarten prepared to succeed. Over the last 25 years, Jumpstart has transformed the lives of more than 123,000 children across the country with the help of more than 50,000 college student and community volunteers.
This year’s book selection, published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, is the remarkable, award-winning Thank You, Omu! by debut author-illustrator Oge Mora. This heartwarming tale follows Omu, whose delicious stew emits a sumptuous smell that lures the entire neighborhood to her home. One by one, Omu shares with her neighbors until she has nothing left for herself; but when Omu answers one last knock at the door, she is surprised by the community members who have returned to share with her their own gifts of appreciation. The story’s themes of generosity and community uniquely align with Jumpstart’s Read for the Record campaign which connects generous donors and readers with communities across the globe to take part in the world’s largest shared reading experience.
During Read for the Record, adults celebrate the transformative power of books by reading to children in their communities. This act creates a positive association with reading and learning and highlights the social-emotional benefits that occur from one-to-one reading. Collectively, participants will attempt to beat the world record for the most people reading the same book at the same time. Since 2006, Jumpstart has mobilized more than 20 million readers – with 1.7 million readers in 2018 alone — in this 24-hour celebration to support early education and literacy for all children. The organization has received strong support from celebrity ambassadors such as Josh Duhamel, Bridget Moynahan, LL Cool J, Mandy Moore, Julianna Margulies, and more.
“Read for the Record offers an exciting opportunity for Jumpstart to invite adults to experience the joy of reading with children across the globe. This day brings visibility to the essential role that adults play in supporting the learning and development of children by doing one simple act: reading aloud,” says Naila Bolus, Jumpstart President & CEO. “We are thrilled to partner with Little, Brown Books for Young Readers to present Thank You, Omu! as the official book selection for 2019, as this story of sharing, community and generosity is a direct reflection of the tenets that make Read for the Record a success year after year.”
After several years of working with Jumpstart, The TJX Companies, Inc., the leading off-price apparel and home fashions retailer in the U.S. and worldwide, has increased its annual donation and joined as the exclusive Presenting Sponsor for this year’s Read for the Record campaign. By supporting Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, TJX is impacting the lives of thousands of children from underserved communities and putting high-quality literature into the hands of children who have limited access to books at home.
“We are extremely grateful for the generosity that TJX has shown Jumpstart over the years. Our shared commitment to supporting children and families creates a collaboration with limitless potential,” said Bolus. “Having TJX as the exclusive Presenting Sponsor brings us closer to our mission and underscores the importance of the work that we are doing day in and day out to significantly impact equity in early education.”
“I am over the moon that Jumpstart has selected my book Thank You, Omu! as the Read for the Record Book of 2019! Thank You, Omu! is a book about gratitude, community, and food’s magical ability to bring us all together. I am honored that Jumpstart is sharing this story with children and communities nationwide,” said Thank You, Omu! author Oge Mora.
“We are so thrilled to partner with such a community-driven organization as Jumpstart and honored they have selected Oge Mora’s book for Read for the Record. The message behind Thank You, Omu! is one of generosity, sharing, and empathy, and what embodies that more than a campaign to get so many children access to books?” said Megan Tingley, Executive Vice President and Publisher of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. “We knew we had found something special when we first saw Oge’s work, and we couldn’t be more excited to offer this wonderful story to as many readers as possible.”
A limited number of special-edition, paperback copies of Thank You, Omu! will be sold exclusively by Jumpstart and will be available in both English and Spanish. Jumpstart versions will feature reading tips, vocabulary words, reading comprehension questions, and activity guides developed by Jumpstart’s team of early education experts. All proceeds help bring Jumpstart’s program to preschool children in underserved communities across the country.
Jumpstart is a national early education organization celebrating 25 years of working toward the day every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. Jumpstart provides language, literacy, and social-emotional programming for preschool children from underserved communities and promotes quality early learning for all. Jumpstart is a proud member of the AmeriCorps service network. Learn more at jstart.org and follow us on Twitter at @Jumpstartkids.
ABOUT LITTLE, BROWN BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers is a division of Hachette Book Group (HBG), a leading trade publisher based in New York and a division of Hachette Livre (a Lagardère company), the third-largest trade and educational publisher in the world. HBG is made up of eight publishing groups: Little, Brown and Company; Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Grand Central Publishing; Perseus Books; Orbit; Hachette Books; Hachette Nashville; and Hachette Audio. For more information, visit hbgusa.com.