Jumpstart and the Pearson Foundation hope that the people of Georgia helped to break a world record today. The goal was for as many people as possible to read the same book in one day in a shared reading experience for their annual, Read for the Record ® Day. Children in schools and homes across the United States were encouraged to read, Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney, together with their teachers, parents and community adult volunteers. According to Guiness World Records' online Records Search for the category, Most Children Reading with an Adult (Multiple Venues), to beat Jumpstart's 2007's world record more than 238, 620 children and adults would have needed to read Llama Llama Red Pajama as a part of today’s shared reading time, (Guiness World Records, 2011). If a school or household does not own a copy of the book, a free online version has been made available courtesy of We Give Books.
The purpose of this event was to raise public awareness that a significant percentage of children living in low-income neighborhoods are not as academically ready to start kindergarten as children living in other neighborhoods, ("Jumpstart our issue:," 2011). This morning, members of the TODAY SHOW cast and Bridget Moynahan, the 2011 Ambassador of Read for the Record ®, launched Read for the Record ®Day by featuring a read-a-long on their morning television show as a part of their Education Nation Initiative, (Kotch, 2011). Dale Atkins, a Jumpstart spokeswoman, stated, “out of three children who enter kindergarten enter two years behind their age peers,” (Kotch, 2011). Jumpstart and the Pearson Foundation used this event to collect donations to fund a pre-kindergarten program that teaches key language and literacy skills developed by Pearson U.S. Higher Education in pre-kindergarten programs across the United States throughout the year, including Georgia, ("Jumpstart our model," 2011). Since Read for the Record ®Daystarted in 2006, this event has raised $6.2 million dollars for Jumpstart programs and has sponsored 800,000 books for children, ("Jumpstart campaign history," 2011).
Georgia children and adult community leaders have been a big part of the are a big part of the Read for the Record ®Day campaign. The Pearson Foundation and We Give Books have donated books and online reading materials for students to use and enjoy at the following Georgia Jumpstart centers:
- 'Atlanta Public Schools
- The Cobb County School District
- DeKalb County School System
- Fulton County Public Schools
- Greene County Schools
- Gwinnett County Public Schools
- Lowndes County Public Schools
- Muscogee County Public Schools
- Richmond County Public Schools
- Valdosta City Schools.'
Around Atlanta, Georgia First Lady, Sandra Deal, participated by reading, Llama Llama Red Pajama, at Centennial Place Elementary while Chairman John Eaves read at Parklane Elementary, ("Jumpstart who read where in Georgia?", 2011). Participants were even invited to wear their pajamas to the Read for the Record event at Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta, (Imagine It! the Children's Museum of Atlanta, 2011). County Commissioner JoAnn Birrell was scheduled to read at Kinkaid Elementary in Marietta and Pearson VUE employees were scheduled to read at multiple Georgia Head Start centers throughout the Smyrna area, ("Jumpstart who read where in Georgia?", 2011).
Any reading group who participated in Read for the Record ® Day and who wants their participants to be counted towards the world record needs to input their information at Jumpstart’s Be Counted on the World Record webpage. In order to qualify for the world record, the reading group needs to have read Llama Llama Red Pajama from a book, or online, in a face-to-face reading setting on October 6, 2011, (Serritella, 2011). If you would like to conduct Jumpstart follow-up activities with Llama Llama Red Pajama, activity guides may be found at http://www.jstart.org/site/PageServer?pagename=readfortherecord_readingtools. To learn more about Anna Dewdney, please go to the official Llama books website at www.llamallamabook.com/.
For more information about the Jumpstart program, go to Jumpstart's Get Involved webpage at http://www.jstart.org/site/PageServer?pagename=GetInvolved_Home. For more information about Jumpstart pre-kindergarten programs in the Atlanta area or if you would like to participate as a Jumpstart volunteer, please contact Tamzen Pickard, City Director, at 404.225.4800. For Jumpstart locations in the Atlanta metro area, please visit the Jumpstart website at http://www.jstart.org/site/PageServer?pagename=WhoWeAre_EarlyEduPartners#Atlanta.