Jumpstart's Read for the Record Makes History, 2,057,513 Set New World Record for Annual Literacy Event

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Event highlights the importance of early literacy and offers digital books to teachers, children, and parents everywhere

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A little more than a month after the one-day reading event took place the results are now all in: Jumpstart's Read for the Record 2010 campaign officially set a new record for the world's largest shared reading experience. On October 7th, 2,057,513 people across the globe read the same classic children's book--The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats--on the same day, highlighting the importance of early literacy and, in the process, showcasing the important role that the non-profit organization Jumpstart plays in helping to prepare pre-schoolers for success in school and in life.

Presented in partnership with the Pearson Foundation, Jumpstart's Read for the Record broke its own one-day reading record for the fifth year in a row. Since 2006, more than five million record-breakers have read as part of Jumpstart's Read for the Record and more than 900,000 books have been donated to children. This year, for the first time, We Give Books offered people everywhere the ability to help set the record online for free at http://www.wegivebooks.org. In conjunction with this year's campaign, We Give Books also donated more than 200,000 copies of The Snowy Day to young people in pre-schools, elementary schools, hospitals, and children's centers. This year's campaign also raised more than $1 million to support Jumpstart's year-long work with preschool children in low-income neighborhoods.

As in past years, NBC's TODAY Show hosts Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira and Al Roker launched the nationwide effort on the morning of October 7, enlisting 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 on-air kickoff was followed by thousands of local reading events across the country--celebrations that included governors, mayors, teachers, parents, and family members, as well as the wide-spread support of education and literacy organizations including the International Reading Association, National Catholic Education Association, and National Education Association.

"Knowing that so many adults and children read The Snowy Day together to raise awareness of the early literacy crisis is awe inspiring," said Jumpstart CEO James Cleveland. "Jumpstart's Read for the Record launches Jumpstart's work in pre-school classrooms all year long and energizes college students and community volunteers who Jumpstart engages to work with pre-school children in low-income neighborhoods from coast to coast."

Jumpstart's Read for the Record encourages record-breakers each year 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%. The campaign brings attention to the imperative of supporting disadvantaged young children whose literacy experience is limited, and--in the process--showcases Jumpstart's role in addressing this issue in pre-schools across the United States.

"Jumpstart's work in communities across the country is essential," said Pearson Foundation President Mark Nieker. "Jumpstart's tested classroom curriculum helps ensure that 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. There's nothing more important in preparing children for a lifetime of learning."

To find out more about Jumpstart and Jumpstart's Read for the Record, visit http://www.readfortherecord.org. To learn about events that took place around the United States, visit http://www.wegivebooks.org/rftr.

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 digital reading initiative from Penguin and the Pearson Foundation that helps your child become a lifelong reader and giver. Together, Penguin and the Pearson Foundation 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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Jodi Hullinger
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