Request for Proposals: Jumpstart’s Read for the Record Campaign 2020

Jumpstart for Young Children is seeking a publishing

partner for its 15th annual Read for the Record campaign.

About Jumpstart for Young Children

For 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 young readers (from preschool through early elementary school) in thousands of community-led events in schools, libraries, and museums across the globe.

Since the campaign was launched over 14 years ago, over 20 million people have participated—building an intergenerational community through reading. In 2019, Jumpstart distributed 150,000 copies of the special edition book, participants extended across 34 countries and 49 states, and social reach amplified the campaign with over 10 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 sell and distribute.
  • 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 in order 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

The deadline to submit proposals for the 2020 Read for the Record campaign is February 7, 2020. 

  • Final book selection completed by Jumpstart by March 5, 2020
  • Special edition content developed by Jumpstart and finalized by publisher by April 3, 2020
  • Special edition books to printer in early May 2020
  • Promotional materials delivered by publisher to Jumpstart by July 15, 2020
  • Special edition books delivered to Jumpstart fulfillment center by August 1, 2020

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. When selecting books for our curriculum, we look for books that will foster language and social-emotional development, honor diversity, have a strong narrative, and appeal to young children. 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
  • 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

Previous Read for the Record campaign books have included:

  • Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora
  • Maybe Something Beautiful by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell, and illustrated by Rafael López
  • Quackers by Liz Wong
  • The Bear Ate My Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach
  • 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 listed above should be mailed to: 

308 Congress St., 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02210


Rebecca Grossfield
Director of Marketing & Communications

Download a PDF version
of the RFP below.

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

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