Wednesday, October 1, 2008

State Leaders “Read for the Record”

On Thursday, Oct. 2, Georgia is Reading for the Record – and much more!

On that day, Georgia First Lady Mary Perdue, State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox, Department of Early Care and Learning Commissioner Holly Robinson, and Fulton County Superintendent Cindy Loe will take part in Jumpstart’s “Read for the Record” campaign.
Superintendent Cox, Commissioner Robinson and Dr. Loe will be reading at Hillside Elementary School in Roswell at 11:15 a.m., while First Lady Perdue will read via a taped message on the Department of Early Care and Learning’s website, www.decal.ga.gov.

“Early literacy is an important building block to a child’s education,” said First Lady Perdue. “Jumpstart’s “Read for the Record” highlights the power of reading, and helps build strong relationships between adults and children encouraging life-long learning.”

Superintendent Cox said early reading skills set the path for successful learning.

“This is a fun and exciting way to emphasize the importance of reading skills to a child’s future,” said Superintendent Cox. “A child who loves to read early in life has a far better chance of being successful in school and in life.”

Jumpstart’s “Read for the Record” Campaign encourages reading events across the United States on the same day using the same book. Governor Sonny Perdue has signed a proclamation declaring Thursday "Read for the Record Day" in Georgia.

“By participating in this exciting event, we’re calling national attention to the importance of reading,” said Dr. Robinson, who oversees preschool and Pre-K programs in Georgia. “In Georgia, we are making wonderful progress starting in Pre-K preparing children to be life-long readers and learners. It is my hope this event will bolster our efforts even further.”

Research shows that most children in low-income communities have few, if any, age-appropriate books in their homes. Those without access to a quality preschool program arrive at kindergarten developmentally behind and have one-fourth the vocabulary of their mid-income peers by first grade.

“Students who come to school prepared to read are also prepared to learn,” said Dr. Loe, Superintendent of Fulton County Schools, Georgia’s 4th largest district. “By raising awareness through “Read for the Record,” we can give all students access to the reading skills they will need to be successful.”

Jumpstart – through the “Read for the Record” campaign and intensive early education programs – puts books in the homes of children who need them most and focuses on helping them make gains in crucial language and literacy skills.

“Focusing everyone’s attention on one book for a single day is a great way to highlight the critical task of preparing young people for a lifetime of reading and learning,” said Jumpstart’s President James Cleveland. “We hope Jumpstart’s Read for the Record will encourage others to consider this problem and help them to recognize the important role early literacy plays in the lives of young children everywhere.”

This year’s official Campaign book is the beloved children’s classic Corduroy. A special edition features an introduction from NBC's TODAY Show hosts Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira, a foreword by LL Cool J, and a collection of reading tips for parents of young children. The book is available from www.readfortherecord.org and at special retailers.

Visit www.readfortherecord.org to find information on how to register to participate, donate books to Jumpstart children, as well as host or join shared reading events across the nation. Jumpstart’s Read for the Record 2008 campaign aims to break the world record and make early education a national priority.

Jumpstart’s Read for the Record. One day. One book. For children everywhere. October 2, 2008.
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