Leading U.S. Education Associations Join with Pearson Foundation to Support Jumpstart's Read for the Record Campaign

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Oct. 8th Event Draws Awareness to the Childhood Literacy Crisis

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Jumpstart's Read for the Record Campaign will set a new record for the world's largest shared reading experience. People everywhere will join together to read the beloved children's classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, to more than one million children around the globe. This year's campaign will donate hundreds of thousands of books and raise more than $2.5 million to support Jumpstart's yearlong work with preschool children.

Today, Jumpstart and the Pearson Foundation formally acknowledged the expanded list of leading American education associations whose efforts have mobilized their combined membership of over two million teachers, school and district administrators, librarians, and universities in advance of Thursday's record-breaking reading event. The organizations include:

  •     The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
  •     The American Association of School Administrators
  •     The American Association of School Librarians
  •     The Consortium of School Networking
  •     The Association for Library Service to Children
  •     The Council of Chief State School Officers
  •     The Education Commission of the States
  •     The Federal Education Association
  •     The International Reading Association
  •     The National Association of State Boards of Education
  •     The National Catholic Education Association
  •     The National Center for Educational Achievement
  •     The National Commission on Teaching and America's Future
  •     The National Education Association
  •     The National School Boards Association

Presented in partnership with Pearson, Jumpstart's Read for The Record is a celebration of reading and community service. The annual effort highlights the importance of reading with young children to ensure they learn crucial early language and literacy skills to succeed in school and in life. Through their efforts, these organizations have provided a communications platform to create support for Read for the Record through conferences; online and print publications; and through viral marketing on popular social media networks such as Facebook. Members have been encouraged to create reading events of all kinds in their local communities, using campaign tools that help them engage local dignitaries including elected officials and celebrities. In many cases, the Pearson Foundation has worked directly with each organization to offer books, materials, and additional support to school districts, libraries, and community centers across the U.S.

"The best part about Read for the Record is that--just as is the case for individuals--it's easy for organizations to get involved" said Pearson Foundation President Mark Nieker, "These leading education organizations have been instrumental in helping to bring new participants to this year's campaign. Because of their commitment, we're expecting a record turnout this year. We've been overwhelmed by their efforts to ensure that everyone knows how important it is for young children to have the skills they need to succeed in school and in life."

Over the past three years, Jumpstart's Read for the Record has raised more than $3 million to support Jumpstart's mission of ensuring that every child enters school prepared to succeed, and more than 500,000 books have been donated to children in need. Pearson, Penguin, and Walmart are joined in supporting this campaign by Jumpstart's national corporate partners American Eagle and Sodexo.

The official campaign book for the 2009 Read for the Record is a special, limited edition of the Philomel Books classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. The commemorative book includes a foreword with messages of support from Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira of NBC's TODAY Show, award-winning actress Mary Louise Parker, and two-time Grammy Award winner, and NAACP Image Award winner, LL Cool J. Walmart stores nationwide are offering the official limited edition copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar in support of Jumpstart's Read for the Record. All net proceeds from the book sales will be donated to Jumpstart*.

Visit http://www.readfortherecord.org to pledge to read and learn more about Jumpstart's Read for the Record. Visit http://www.pearsonfoundation.org for more information about the Pearson Foundation's support of this campaign.

*A minimum of $1.00 (12.5% of the retail price) for each book purchased.

About the Pearson Foundation
Pearson, the international education and information company, is Jumpstart's Read for the Record's Sponsor and Founding Partner. The Pearson Foundation extends Pearson's commitment to education by partnering with leading nonprofit, civic, and business organizations to provide financial, organizational, and publishing assistance across the globe. The Foundation aims to make a difference by sponsoring innovative educational programs and extending its educational expertise to help in classrooms and in local communities. For more information, visit http://www.pearsonfoundation.org.

About Jumpstart
Jumpstart is a national early education organization that works toward the day every child in America enters school prepared to succeed. To cultivate a child's social, emotional and intellectual readiness, Jumpstart brings college students and community volunteers together with preschool children for year long, individualized tutoring and mentoring. Since 1993, more than 70,000 preschool children across America have benefited from millions of hours of Jumpstart service. Jumpstart's national sponsors include American Eagle Outfitters, AmeriCorps, Pearson, Sodexo and Starbucks. Jumpstart is the five-time recipient of the Fast Company/Monitor Social Capitalist Award (2004-2008) and has received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. For more information, visit the Jumpstart Web site at http://www.jstart.org.

Contact:
Adam Ray
Pearson Foundation
adam.ray(at)pearsonfoundation(dot)org

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