Read for the Record 2019 Literacy Champions

Read for the Record Literacy Champions are celebrity ambassadors—from actors to athletes—who use their platform to build public awareness and support early literacy through Jumpstart’s Read for the Record campaign. Meet our 2019 Literacy Champions below!


Josh Duhamel

Josh Duhamel is a dynamic and versatile actor, Josh Duhamel is one of Hollywood’s leading males. Recently, Josh could be seen in Love, Simon, Transformers: The Last Knight, and Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G.


Yvonne Orji

Yvonne is a Nigerian-American actress, comedienne, and writer. Currently, she stars opposite Issa Rae on HBO’s comedy series, Insecure, executive produced by Prentice Penny and Melina Matsoukas. Yvonne is currently developing a half-hour sitcom, based on her life entitled First Gen with Oprah, David Oyelowo, and Harpo Films.



Julian Edelman

Julian Edelman is a wide receiver and punt returner for the New England Patriots, and was named MVP in this year’s Super Bowl. Julian is also an author, and wrote his memoir, Relentless, as well as the popular children’s series, Flying High. His new book, Flying High 3, will come out soon.


Curtis Martin

Curtis Martin is a NFL hall-of-famer who spent the majority of his career with the New York Jets, and began his career playing for the New England Patriots. Curtis has dedicated much of his life to philanthropy, supporting causes that benefit women and children.



Brynn Elliott

Singer-songwriter Brynn Elliott recently graduated from Harvard University with a mission to share her experiences and philosophical studies through the lens of pop music. Brynn’s music is about embracing who you are and feeling inspired to act. Brynn’s debut EP, Time of Our Lives, was released in September 2018.


Public Figures

Nigel Barker

Nigel Barker is an internationally renowned photographer who opened his New York studio in 1996. He served 17 seasons as photographer and judge on the hit TV show America’s Next Top Model, which aired in over 140 countries, and hosted Oxygen Network’s modeling competition series The Face, starring alongside Naomi Campbell.


Christina Geist

Christina Geist is the author of Sorry Grownups, You Can’t Go to School as well as Buddy’s Bedtime Battery. A former television producer and writer, Christina is now principal and strategy director of True Geist, a brand consulting firm she founded. She lives in New York with her husband, the TODAY show’s Willie Geist, and their two children, Lucie and George.


Florinda Kajtazi

Florinda Kajtazi was crowned Miss New York USA 2019 and awarded Miss Photogenic. Originally from the Bronx, Florinda is currently a student at Lehman College, where she will complete her prerequisites for becoming a physician assistant.


Ida Siegal

Ida Siegal is a breaking news and general assignment reporter for NBC 4 New York. She can be seen on weekday newscasts, starting at 4 pm and Sunday evenings, starting at 6 pm. Siegal joined the NBC New York team in 2003 and has spent the majority of her career telling stories in the Tri-State Area. Siegal is also a children’s book author. In 2015 she published her first chapter book series with Scholastic, Emma Is on the Air.


Together, we can help all children build the key language and literacy skills they need to take on the world.

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