Request for Proposals: 2023 Campaign

Jumpstart for Young Children (Jumpstart) is seeking a publishing partner for its 18th annual Read for the Record campaign. 

About Jumpstart for Young Children

For 28 years, Jumpstart —a leading national early education nonprofit—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 provides an early education solution that meets the needs of the children and communities we serve.

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  

 This campaign engages over 2 million participants annually, including: 

  • School districts, teachers, and young readers  
  • High-profile celebrities who serve as our “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 (primarily PreK through elementary), 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 18 years ago, over 24 million people have participated—building an intergenerational community through reading. In 2022, Jumpstart distributed over 165,000 copies of the special edition book. 

Past publishing partners include HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, Candlewick Press, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Simon & Schuster, 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 and distribute to campaign supporters. Individual unit cost not to exceed $2 each.
  • Publisher will donate 15,000 additional copies of the special edition books, to be distributed to Jumpstart partners and children served by Jumpstart programming in 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 book access and global digital participation.
  • Publisher will collaborate with Jumpstart to promote the campaign and Jumpstart’s sales of the special edition books via newsletters, conferences, social media and other mediums.
  • Publisher will produce educational resources (ex: activity guides) with Jumpstart provided content, book art, and branding.
  • Publisher will facilitate author participation in campaign promotion and press appearances.

Target Deliverable Schedule

  • Jumpstart selects 2023 campaign book by January 31, 2023 and signs agreement with publisher
  • Special edition content developed by Jumpstart and finalized by publisher by February 28, 2023
  • Promotional materials delivered by publisher to Jumpstart by March 1, 2023
  • Special edition books begin printing in March 2023
  • Special edition books delivered to Jumpstart fulfillment center by June 30, 2023
  • Educational resources delivered by publisher to Jumpstart by July 31, 2023
  • Digital special editions delivered by publisher to Jumpstart by July 31, 2023

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. Jumpstart prides itself in introducing new books to our millions of Read for the Record participants, annually, so we are most excited to consider new and unreleased titles.

Read for the Record books are considered based on similar criteria. 

Each Read for the Record book must meet the following: 

  • Be a picture book
  • 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 children attending preschool to 3rd grade (3-8 years old)
  • 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
  • Book was released after January 1, 2021
    • Unreleased titles are welcomed and will be accepted

Other factors to consider: 

  • The ideal length is ~3-5 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 themes 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: 

  • Nigel and the Moon by Antwan Eady
  • Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon by Kat Zhang 
  • 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 
  • Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

The Publisher 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 to amplify the overall campaign and the selected book 

Submission Requirements 

Please include the following information in your proposal document (no longer than 4 pages) submitted to Jumpstart by December 14, 2022: 

  • Publisher / Imprint Name 
  • Contact Name 
  • Email
  • Phone 
  • Titles and links to PDFs to consider (Please list your proposed titles, links to PDFs of books, authors, and illustrators. No more than 10 titles)
    • Please ensure titles meet book criteria (above) – titles that do not meet book criteria will not be considered

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 do you envision each author and illustrator duo engaging in the campaign?
  • How will your company partner with Jumpstart regarding the scope of work proposed above?
  • Is there something not outlined in the scope of work that your company thinks could be a good contribution to Read for the Record?

The proposal and links to PDFs of the proposed book titles should be submitted electronically.  

  • Publisher submissions can be sent to Jumpstart’s Director of Impact Initiatives,
  • Please include “PUBLISHER NAME + 2023 RFTR Submission” in the subject line.  

If any of the submitted titles are selected as finalists, Jumpstart may request up to 10 physical review copies of any already released books to be sent directly to the selection committee members.

Contact Information  

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

Charlie Arreola

Director of Impact Initiatives

hone: 213.387.5506



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

Donate Now