Jumpstart Selects Piper Chen Sings for Annual Read for the Record Literacy Campaign

Jumpstart Selects Piper Chen Sings, co-authored by Phillipa Soo and Maris Pasquale Doran and illustrated by Qin Leng, for Annual Read for the Record Literacy CampaignⓇ 

Special Edition Jumpstart Books and Learning Guides to go on Sale April 23, with Read for the Record Day set for October 24 

Piper Chen Sings
Phillipa Soo

BOSTON- Jumpstart for Young Children, an equity-focused early care and education organization, has selected Piper Chen Sings, written by award-winning actress Phillipa Soo (Hamilton) and Maris Pasquale Doran, and illustrated by Qin Leng, for their 19th annual Read for the Record early literacy campaign. The campaign will culminate on October 24, 2024, uniting more than 2 million readers across thousands of classrooms globally to raise awareness of the need for early literacy and access to inclusive, high-quality books. The TJX Companies, Inc.- a longtime Jumpstart sponsor – will serve as the campaign’s exclusive presenting impact partner.  

Published by Penguin Random House, Piper Chen Sings is an empowering story of self-expression, overcoming self-doubt, and the ways family relationships can support us. The story shows how emotional awareness and embracing nervousness can reduce anxiety; a lesson Piper Chen learns from her Nai Nai’s – her grandmother’s – life story. Piper Chen Sings celebrates the importance of intergenerational relationships and expressing oneself. 

“At Jumpstart, we know that reading aloud is one of the most impactful activities adults can provide to help young children develop their foundational literacy and social-emotional skills,” said Jumpstart CEO Crystal Rountree. Rountree added, “This year’s Read for the Record book, Piper Chen Sings, will help teach children how to navigate their emotions and feelings, through a story that many children can relate to. This special community reading day aligns with Jumpstart’s approach in our year-round programs and the ongoing impact we strive for every day.” 

Jumpstart supports preschool children’s literacy and social-emotional development through in-classroom programming; this includes selecting high-quality books that showcase diverse characters and experiences. Read for the Record uplifts the importance of this mission.  

“I am thrilled and grateful that Jumpstart has chosen Piper Chen Sings for their Read for the Record campaign this year,” said co-author Phillipa Soo, adding that, “This book comes straight from the heart and is inspired by my own life and experiences—a little girl who loves to sing but is overwhelmed with nervousness about singing in front of others. Maris and I hope Piper gives comfort to readers who may be navigating their own complicated feelings and inspires them to pursue the things in life that give them joy.” 

Co-author Maris Pasquale Doran drew on her professional experience as a psychotherapist to “write a relatable story of approaching a new life experience, the importance of becoming aware of our emotions, and moving through our lives with intention. We hope Piper Chen Sings opens up conversations about holding many feelings at once and the universal aspects of our unique lives.” 

Lee Wade, VP and Publisher of Random House Studio, adds “I have admired the Read for the Record campaign for years and I couldn’t be happier that Jumpstart is helping us introduce the joyful and relatable character of Piper Chen to the world.”  

Read for the Record will impact thousands of children by enhancing their home libraries with high-quality literature. Piper Chen Sings will be available in both English and Spanish, and readings, events, and activity guides will be featured on the Jumpstart website. Additionally, Jumpstart’s special edition copies of Piper Chen Sings will include reading comprehension guides, reading tips, and vocabulary words, all developed by Jumpstart’s team of early education experts. The proceeds from Read for the Record will help Jumpstart continue providing its program to preschool children in underserved communities nationwide.  

Beginning on April 23, Piper Chen Sings will be available for $11 for purchase on jstart.org. Books can be purchased for yourself, or to be donated to a classroom or Jumpstart community partner. To learn more about Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, visit readfortherecord.org. 

ABOUT JUMPSTART FOR YOUNG CHILDREN 

For 30 years, Jumpstart has been fueled by the core belief that providing high-quality educational opportunities to all young children prepares them for academic and economic success later in life. Jumpstart advances equitable learning outcomes for young children by recruiting and supporting caring adults to deliver high-quality programming and drive systems change through teaching, advocacy, and leadership. Jumpstart has trained more than 65,000 college students and community volunteers, preparing over 187,000 children for kindergarten success. Jumpstart’s program is replicated across the country in 14 states and the District of Columbia. Learn more at jstart.org.   

ABOUT PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE 

Random House Children’s Books (rhcbooks.com) is the world’s largest English-language children’s trade book publisher. Creating books for toddlers through young adult readers, in all formats from board books to activity books to picture books, novels, and nonfiction, the imprints of Random House Children’s Books bring together award-winning authors and illustrators, world-famous franchise characters, and multimillion-copy series. Random House Children’s Books is a division of Penguin Random House LLC. 

Jumpstart Contact: Gina Hutchinson: gina.hutchinson@jstart.org 

Penguin Random House Contact: Haley Davis: hdavis@penguinrandomhouse.com 

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