Jumpstart and Pearson Foundation Announce Fourth Annual Read for the Record Campaign
06 May 2009
One Million “Very Hungry Caterpillar” Readers to Break World Record
Minneapolis, MN – 6 May – On October 8th, more than one million children and adults are expected to team up with a single “Hungry Caterpillar” to help break a world record and draw attention to the early education crisis affecting millions of at-risk young children here in the U.S. and across the globe.
The non-profit organization Jumpstart and the Pearson Foundation announced Jumpstart’s fourth annual Read for the Record Campaign today at the International Reading Association convention in Minneapolis. On this one day in October in thousands of settings across the world, readers of all ages will be joining together to break the record for the world’s largest shared reading experience.
This year’s official Campaign book 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 from Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira of NBC’s TODAY Show, and Grammy Award-winning recording artist/actor, LL Cool J. The special limited edition can be purchased online at www.readfortherecord.org/books, where people can also donate books to children in need.
The Pearson Foundation will donate more than 200,000 copies of The Very Hungry Caterpillar to children in need, and invites businesses and other institutions to sponsor additional book donations to children in low-income communities in the U.S. and abroad. Further information can be found at www.pearsonfoundation.org/rftr09. Schools, libraries, civic groups and organizations interested in securing their own commemorative copies can also visit this site to learn more.
“The books we read as children provide us with treasured childhood memories,” said Jumpstart’s President James Cleveland. “Unfortunately, most children in low-income communities have few, if any, age-appropriate books in their homes. As a result, they miss out on the reading experiences that form the foundation for success in school and life. In fact, each year one third of America’s children arrive at their first day of school without the skills necessary to succeed. At Jumpstart, we’re remedying this problem by giving these young people important one-to-one attention, one child at a time.”
For the fourth consecutive year, the Pearson Foundation is underwriting the cost of the Campaign’s official book, ensuring that 100% of the proceeds from sales of this edition directly benefit Jumpstart’s work with at-risk children. From now through the fall, The Pearson Foundation and Jumpstart will be working with teachers, district superintendents, government officials, libraries, businesses, parent groups, and educational organizations to organize reading events on October 8th and to donate copies of The Very Hungry Caterpillar to Head Start and other early learning centers, elementary schools, and other places that serve low-income children.
“Focusing everyone’s attention on one book for a single day is a great way to highlight the importance of reading as the foundation for all other learning,” said Pearson Foundation President Mark Nieker. “Additionally, the Read for the Record Campaign shines the spotlight on the critical role Jumpstart is playing in closing the gap in school readiness between children from low-income communities and their middle income peers.”
Over the past three years, more than one million people have taken part in this record-breaking Campaign. Jumpstart’s Read for the Record has raised more than $3 million to support Jumpstart’s mission and more than 500,000 books have been donated to children in need. In addition, Jumpstart and Pearson’s innovative Read for the Record collaboration has been awarded a coveted Cause Marketing Halo Award. The campaign is further supported by Campaign Sponsors American Eagle Outfitters, Penguin, Sodexo, and Official Retail Sponsor, Wal-Mart.
For more information, visit www.readfortherecord.org and www.pearsonfoundation.org. In addition to information on how to participate, the websites provide information about donating books to Jumpstart children, as well as hosting and joining shared reading events across the nation.
# # #
Jumpstart is a national early education organization that works toward the day every child in America enters school prepared to succeed. By pairing nearly 4,000 trained adult mentors with underserved preschoolers for a full school year, Jumpstart helps children develop the language, literacy, and social skills they’ll need to thrive in kindergarten and beyond. Working alongside parents and families, Jumpstart is currently serving nearly 15,000 children across 20 states, in partnership with more than 300 early learning centers and 74 universities and colleges throughout the country. 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 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. More information on the Pearson Foundation can be found at www.pearsonfoundation.org.
# # #
Public Relations & Marketing Director