National Teacher Day
City-Wide Reading of a Children's Book

National Campaign to Set 'World Record' for Largest Shared Reading Experience

Sorry that I've been a bit absent this week. Not traveling, for once, but I've been experiencing some technical issues, mostly related to configuring my new Palm Treo. I finally have that working now, however, and expect it to be easier to keep up on email when I'm traveling now. Whether or not that's a good thing remains to be seen...

Anyway, I do have one news item that I ran across that I wanted to share with you. The text below is taken from a May 2nd press release issues by Jumpstart, a national education non-profit. I have edited the text to shorten it:

CHICAGO, May 2 /PRNewswire/ -- In the United States, a shocking one in three children enters kindergarten unprepared to succeed. To raise awareness about the crisis in early education, the non-profit organization, Jumpstart, today announced Read for the Record, a national campaign to pair adults and children for the largest shared reading experience ever. The announcement was made in conjunction with the International Reading Association's annual convention in Chicago at a reception hosted by Pearson Education. Supported by Pearson, Starbucks Coffee Company, and American Eagle Outfitters, Jumpstart's Read for the Record Campaign has a goal of setting the world record for the number of children reading the same book with an adult on the same day. The Campaign will take place on Thursday, August 24 and the official campaign book is a limited custom edition of The Little Engine That Could.

Rob Waldron, Chief Executive Officer of Jumpstart, a national non-profit organization focused on literacy and language development in preschool-aged children, said, "A child from a low-income family is read to an average of 25 hours before entering kindergarten, while a child from a middle-income family is read to an average of 1,700 hours. This disparity is at the core of a huge national problem that impacts the future of millions of children, but this problem is entirely solvable. That's where Jumpstart's program comes in." To join us in solving this crisis and help set the world record, Waldron encourages everyone to go to and register to read with a child on August 24.

To support Jumpstart's Read for the Record campaign, Pearson and its Penguin Young Readers division are publishing a custom edition of the children's classic The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper, with new art by Loren Long.

On August 24, 2006, Jumpstart's Read for the Record will engage tens of thousands of adults and children all across the country to raise awareness about how to address the completely solvable problem of school readiness, and increase support for Jumpstart's important work with at-risk children. Go to to register your participation on August 24 and to find out how you can provide a copy of The Little Engine That Could to an at-risk preschooler.