Request for Proposals: Jumpstart’s Read for the Record 2021 Campaign

Jumpstart for Young Children is seeking a publishing partner for its 16th annual Read for the Record campaign.

About Jumpstart for Young Children

For over 25 years, Jumpstart—a leading national early education nonprofit providing language, literacy, and social-emotional programming to preschool children—has been fueled by the core belief that access to high-quality educational opportunities for all young children contributes to breaking the cycle of poverty.

Overview: Annual Read for the Record Campaign

Jumpstart’s Read for the Record is a high-visibility annual fall campaign focused on:

  • Increasing awareness about the critical importance of early literacy
  • Placing high-quality books in the hands of children in underserved communities
  • Raising awareness and support for Jumpstart for Young Children

This campaign engages over 2 million participants annually, including:

  • School districts, teachers, and young readers
  • High-profile celebrity literacy champions
  • Major corporate sponsors and nonprofit partners
  • National and local media

Each year, Jumpstart selects a children’s book for the Read for the Record campaign and partners with the publisher to develop a special edition of the book. The selected book will be read on the designated campaign day by adults and children (PreK through 2nd grade), both in-person and virtually, in homes, schools, libraries, and museums across the globe as well as celebrated in thousands of community-led events.

Since the campaign was launched over 15 years ago, over 20 million people have participated—building an intergenerational community through reading. In 2020, Jumpstart distributed over 150,000 copies of the book, participants extended across 49 states and over 20 countries, and social media reach amplified the campaign with over 12 million impressions.

Past partners include Penguin Random House, Candlewick Press, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Little, Brown.

Scope of Work

  • Publisher will partner with Jumpstart to publish a Read for the Record special edition of the selected book in paperback in both English and Spanish, including exclusive special edition front- and back-matter (such as reading tips, vocabulary words, and information about the campaign) developed by Jumpstart. The publisher will provide necessary translation.
  • Publisher will produce 150,000+ special edition books for Jumpstart to purchase, sell, and distribute. Individual unit cost not to exceed $2 each.
  • Publisher will donate 15,000 additional copies of the special edition books, to be distributed to the children that Jumpstart serves in underserved communities across the United States.
  • Publisher will grant Jumpstart the rights to share digital special editions of the book during the campaign month to encourage global digital participation.
  • Publisher will collaborate with Jumpstart to promote the campaign and Jumpstart’s sales of the special edition books.

Target Deliverable Schedule

  • Proposals due January 29, 2021
  • Final book selection completed by Jumpstart by March 5, 2021
  • Special edition content developed by Jumpstart and sent to by publisher by March 31, 2021
  • Special edition content finalized by publisher and sent to printer by April 16, 2021
  • Promotional materials delivered by publisher to Jumpstart by July 16, 2021
  • Special edition books delivered to Jumpstart fulfillment center by August 2, 2021

Please direct questions to Rebecca Grossfield, Director of Marketing and Communications:

View the full RFP and download below.

Book Criteria

Sharing high-quality picture books with young children is at the heart of Jumpstart’s mission, and storybooks are the essential anchors of our curriculum. We view books as both windows to new outlooks and experiences, and mirrors in which children can see themselves.

Each Read for the Record book must meet the following:

  • Characters, plots, illustrations, and authors are reflective of our diverse world
  • Book has a strong story arc with a clear beginning, middle, and end
  • Story is developmentally and thematically appropriate for preschool-aged readers
  • Features a child protagonist
  • Narrative has a clear message/moral that appeals to readers of all ages and backgrounds
  • Book is not currently available in paperback; non-exclusive paperback rights are available
  • Ideally, book is not currently available in Spanish; non-exclusive Spanish rights are available

Other factors to consider:

  • The ideal length is ~3 to 5 minutes read aloud; brief enough to capture the attention of small children, yet long enough to facilitate meaningful group readings
  • Provides rich vocabulary to build language skills
  • Content fosters social-emotional development
  • Features strong themesthat allow the creation of engaging activities to bring the book to life on Read for the Record day

Previous Read for the Record campaign books have included:

  • Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away by Meg Medina, and illustrated by Sonia Sánchez
  • Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora
  • Maybe Something Beautiful by F. Isabel Campoy, Theresa Howell, and illustrated by Rafael Lopez
  • Quackers by Liz Wong
  • The Bear Ate My Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach
  • Not Norman: A Goldfish Story by Kelly Bennett
  • Otis by Loren Long
  • Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • Corduroy by Don Freeman
  • The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

What We’re Looking For

Jumpstart seeks a publisher that is:

  • An active partner in the Read for the Record campaign
  • Passionate about the campaign’s mission and Jumpstart’s work broadly
  • Committed to collaborating on marketing and publicity efforts for the overall campaign and the selected book

Submission Requirements

Please include the following information in your proposal document (no longer than 4 pages):

  • Publisher / Imprint Name
  • Contact Name
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Titles to Consider (Please list your proposed titles and authors. No more than 10 titles)

Your proposal should also address the following questions:

  • Why is each one of your selected titles a fit for Jumpstart’s Read for the Record campaign?
  • How will your company partner with Jumpstart regarding the scope of work proposed above?

The proposal and review copies of the proposed book titles should be submitted electronically.

  • Publisher submissions can be sent to Jumpstart’s Read for the Record at
  • Please include “PUBLISHER NAME + 2021 RFTR Submission” in the subject line.

If any of the submitted titles are selected as finalists, Jumpstart may request up to 5 physical review copies to be sent directly to the selection committee members.

Contact Information

For questions or concerns regarding the Request for Proposal or campaign, please contact:

Rebecca Grossfield
Director of Marketing and Communications
Phone: 857.413.4624

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