Readers Nationwide Set New World Record By Reading The Children's Classic The Snowy Day

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Jumpstart's Read for the Record focuses attention on the importance of early literacy

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Jumpstart helps children in low-income neighborhoods gain the language and literacy skills they need so that they can step into kindergarten classrooms ready to learn and succeed. Research shows that there's nothing more important in preparing children for a lifetime of learning. Thanks to Read for the Record, everyone can help us spread the word about this important issue.

Today, adults and children across the country are taking part in Jumpstart's Read for the Record™, a nationwide campaign to set a new world record for the largest shared reading experience on a single day. Starting this morning at the TODAY Show in New York City, and continuing in schools, community centers, libraries, colleges, and homes, and--for the first time ever--available online at http://www.wegivebooks.org, this one-day celebration brings together adults and children to showcase the role reading plays in a young child's life.

Presented in partnership with the Pearson Foundation, Jumpstart's Read for the Record encourages record-breakers to spread the word that reading with a child before he or she enters kindergarten can improve his or her chances of graduating from high school by as much as 30%. Today, more than 2.5 million children are expected to take part by reading The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. In the process, Jumpstart and the Pearson Foundation aim to draw attention to the growing crisis for disadvantaged young children whose literacy experience is limited and to Jumpstart's role in addressing this issue.

As in past years, NBC's TODAY Show hosts Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira are launching the nationwide effort, together with celebrity readers including: world renowned comedian and human rights activist Bill Cosby, Grammy Award winner and humanitarian Patti Labelle; New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, actress Amanda Peet, and actresses Madison Pettis and Jennifer Stone of the Disney Channel.

The United States Congress has officially declared October 7, 2010 as Jumpstart's Read for the Record Day recognizing the important role this campaign plays in supporting literacy.
Across the country, in cities, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, DC., celebrities and elected officials are joining business, philanthropic and community leaders to host readings at schools and libraries. We Give Books has donated more than 200,000 books to educators, librarians, and pre-school teachers for the children to take home after today's events.

In addition, We Give Books is offering readers the chance to join in setting the new world-record online by reading a digital version of The Snowy Day, for free, at http://www.wegivebooks.org. Created by Penguin and the Pearson Foundation, each time someone reads The Snowy Day online, the Pearson Foundation and We Give Books, will donate a new children's book to a pre-school classrooms that Jumpstart serves.

Jumpstart President James Cleveland noted the importance of shining a light on the early literacy crisis: "I want to thank NBC for their amazing support of Jumpstart's Read for the Record. It is so helpful in bringing attention to this important issue. When children start school behind, they tend to stay behind for the rest of their lives. It's critical that we reach these children early in pre-school--and Jumpstart does just that. We encourage everyone to read today with a child in their life. Together, we can help all children in America enter school prepared to succeed."

"Jumpstart's work in communities across the United States is essential," said Pearson Foundation President Mark Nieker. "Jumpstart helps children in low-income neighborhoods gain the language and literacy skills they need so that they can step into kindergarten classrooms ready to learn and succeed. Research shows that there's nothing more important in preparing children for a lifetime of learning. Thanks to Read for the Record, everyone can help us spread the word about this important issue."

In addition to Pearson, Jumpstart's Read for the Record is further supported by Penguin Young Readers Group and 77kids by American Eagle.

For the fifth consecutive year, the Penguin Young Readers Group has published the book that is the heart of Jumpstart's Read for the Record.

American Eagle has been a national sponsor of Jumpstart since 1997; the company and its broad network of employees have participated in Jumpstart's Read for the Record campaign every year since its launch in 2006. For the fifth year, American Eagle will be donating t-shirts to be worn by volunteers on campaign day. The 77kids division is excited to support the campaign by reaching out to parents and children to encourage participation in the record breaking event on October 7, 2010.

Anyone, anywhere can participate in Jumpstart's Read for the Record. Learn more at http://www.readfortherecord.org or go to http://www.wegivebooks.org any time today to take part in setting the world record immediately, for free.

About Jumpstart's Read for the Record
Presented in partnership with Pearson, Jumpstart's Read for the Record™, is an annual world record breaking campaign that brings children and adults together to read the same book, on the same day, in homes and communities all over the world. The campaign also kicks off Jumpstart's yearlong program, preparing preschool children in low-income neighborhoods for success in school and life. Since it's inception in 2006, the campaign has reached more than 3 million children and more than 750,000 books have been donated to children in low-income neighborhoods.

In addition to Pearson, Jumpstart's Read for the Record is further supported by Penguin Young Readers Group and 77kids by American Eagle.

  • For the fifth consecutive year, the Penguin Young Readers Group has published the book that is the heart of Jumpstart's Read for the Record.
  • 77Kids by American Eagle American Eagle and its employees have participated in Jumpstart's Read for the Record since 2006. In addition to donating t-shirts, the 77kids division developed a video to promote Jumpstart's Read for the Record that played on American Eagle Outfitters' LED screen in Times Square.

For more information, visit http://www.readfortherecord.org.

About Jumpstart
Jumpstart's mission is to ensure that all children in America enter school prepared to succeed. Year-round, Jumpstart recruits and trains thousands of college students and community volunteers to work with preschool children in low-income neighborhoods, helping them to develop the language, literacy, and social skills they need to succeed in school and in life. 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, Franklin Templeton Investments, and Pearson. 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.

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 We Give Books
We Give Books (http://www.wegivebooks.org) is a new philanthropic program from Penguin and the Pearson Foundation that helps your child become a lifelong reader and giver. Together, we support literacy through programs that engage entire communities. Working around the world through programs like Booktime and Jumpstart's Read for the Record, Penguin and the Pearson Foundation have touched millions of lives in thousands of communities.

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