We Give Books Helps Set a New World Reading Record to Support Early Literacy

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Join Author Loren Long, Cclebrities, first spouses, mayors and millions of children for Jumpstart’s Read for the Record.

We Give Books, the digital reading initiative from the Pearson Foundation and Penguin Group, will join millions of children and adults in celebrating Jumpstart’s Read for the Record on October 3, 2013. Everyone is encouraged to read Otis, the official campaign book, free online at wegivebooks.org to help set a new digital reading record and raise awareness about the importance of early literacy.

In communities, in schools, and in the comfort of their homes on October 3, readers will come together to read Otis, by New York Times bestselling author Loren Long, in person and online in English, Spanish and American Sign Language. Presented in partnership with the Pearson Foundation, the Read for the Record campaign – which includes 50,000 reading celebrations in classrooms, among other events – will feature readings by more than 75 first spouses and mayors; and the entire day will kick off on NBC’s TODAY Show with an appearance by the campaign ambassador and star of USA’s White Collar, Tiffani Thiessen. New this year, author Loren Long will read Otis live via Google+ Hangout on Air to children across the country at 12:00 PM EDT. For more information about the Google+ Hangout, visit https://plus.google.com/u/1/events/cc1jiil8o7td8stobkp8j0gh7cc.

Throughout the fall, We Give Books has celebrated early literacy with partners LeapFrog and WWE as the We Give Books ReadMobile traveled across the United States sharing books and building student anticipation for the fun and excitement of Read for the Record. Again this year, the Pearson Foundation provided book grants to local schools, for use in their classrooms and libraries.

We Give Books’ digital library of high-quality children’s books is provided by Penguin in an effort to spread the word about the important role of reading in shaping a lifetime of learning. Since We Give Books launched in 2010, the Pearson Foundation and Penguin have donated more than 2 million books to children in low-income neighborhoods, along with helping Jumpstart to raise more than $8 million.

Now in its eighth year, Read for the Record shares books; organizes local reading celebrations; and encourages students, teachers, schools, and libraries around the world to help showcase the vital role that daily reading plays in shaping a lifetime of learning. As part of this year’s effort, the Pearson Foundation is helping to raise $100,000 in 100 days to help support Jumpstart. For more information and to donate, visit http://donations.wegivebooks.org.

“We know that when children begin school ready to learn, they have the greatest chance for success,” said Mark Nieker, President and CEO, Pearson Foundation. “Jumpstart’s work in communities across the country helps prepare our youth for a pathway to achievement. Together with Penguin, we look forward to a great Read for the Record campaign directing attention to all Jumpstart does year-around in classrooms.”

Want to learn more about the lovable tractor Otis and his creator Loren Long? Go to the Pearson Foundation’s YouTube Channel. Register for Read for the Record now at We Give Books, visit http://www.wegivebooks.org/readfortherecord and read Otis on October 3.

About the Pearson Foundation
The Pearson Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, 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. More information on the Pearson Foundation can be found at http://www.pearsonfoundation.org.

About We Give Books
We Give Books is a philanthropic program from Penguin and the Pearson Foundation that helps children become lifelong readers and givers. 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. For more information, visit http://www.wegivebooks.org.

About Jumpstart
Jumpstart is a national early education organization working toward the day every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. Jumpstart delivers a research-based and cost-effective program by training college students and community volunteers to serve preschool-age children in low-income neighborhoods. Through a proven curriculum, these children develop the language and literacy skills they need to be ready for school, setting them on a path for lifelong success. Jumpstart is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. Learn more at http://www.jstart.org.

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Stacey Finkel
Pearson Foundation
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