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Early Education Campaign to Make History as Americans Read the Same Book on the Same Day

Submitted by: Pearson Foundation

Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: Sep 14, 2007 – 05:19 PM EST


Special Editions of Official "Jumpstart's Read for the Record" Campaign Books Now on Sale Nationwide

Sep. 14 /CSRwire/ - NEW YORK, NY - September 14, 2007 - Jumpstart's Read for the Record campaign kicks off its second annual reading campaign with the official 2007 campaign book, The Story of Ferdinand, hitting retailers’ shelves today (books are available at Toys "R" Us, American Eagle Outfitters, and Hanna Andersson and also online at www.readfortherecord.org). 100% of the sale of these special editions, available only in the month of September, will support Jumpstart's work with preschoolers in low-income communities thanks to a generous donation from the Pearson Foundation.

Custom edition books are just one part of Jumpstart's Read for the Record campaign. On September 20, 2007, hundreds of thousands of children and adults will read the same book on the same day, as part of this record-breaking campaign, and aim to raise more than $1 million for early education programs in low-income communities.

Jumpstart's Read for the Record will start with an early morning reading event on September 20 to a national audience on Rockefeller Plaza with NBC's Today Show hosts Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira taking part. The campaign will also include official events in major U.S. cities, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. and many more, with over 1,000 community events nationwide already scheduled. The campaign will create the world's largest "shared reading experience" as children and adults will read The Story of Ferdinand, written by Munro Leaf, illustrated by Robert Lawson, and published by Penguin Young Readers Group.

As one-third of American children enter kindergarten developmentally behind their peers and without the skills necessary to succeed at grade level, Jumpstart, the nation's premier early education nonprofit organization, has joined together with three of its national partners, Pearson, American Eagle Outfitters, and Sodexho, as well as several corporate sponsors - Hanna Andersson, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, NBC, Penguin Young Readers Group (publisher of the custom limited edition of The Story of Ferdinand), Toys "R" Us, and XM Satellite Radio, to raise awareness of the national early childhood education crisis that is rapidly reaching epidemic proportions.

Toys "R" Us, American Eagle Outfitters, and Hanna Andersson will sell the special edition book during September in stores nationwide. In addition, books may be purchased online at www.readfortherecord.org/books. The Pearson Foundation will match each online book donation/purchase with its own donation of another children's book and deliver those to children in at-risk communities. Pearson is also underwriting all publishing costs, making it possible for Jumpstart to receive 100% of the proceeds raised through the sale of these special edition books (in online and retail channels).

Additionally, on September 5, a "virtual event" webpage launches so that those without access to the book itself may still participate in this record-breaking campaign. At
www.readfortherecord.org/virtualevent, visitors may access an online version of The Story of Ferdinand (brought to you by Pearson's Family Education Network) and taped readings of the book from XM on-air personalities Dr. Maya Angelou, Danica Patrick and Bob Edwards, as well as several other celebrities including Mandy Moore. Celebrities can be heard reading the book 24-7 during the month of September via the above website.

To join the campaign and help break this world record, anyone and everyone across the country is encouraged to pick up a copy of the book, and then register to read on September 20 (register at www.readfortherecord.org). Shared reading experiences can range from a quiet reading period for one adult and one child in their home to big group events with hundreds of people gathering at public facilities for large community reading sessions. This year, group reading events will take place across the country in schools, libraries, Toys "R" Us stores, Hyatt hotels, playgrounds, offices, and homes. More information on event locations and activities can be found on the campaign website. Register today at www.readfortherecord.org.


Jumpstart is a national nonprofit organization that engages preschool children from low-income communities in an intensive early education program to improve their cognitive and emotional development, ensuring they enter kindergarten prepared to succeed at grade level. Jumpstart's foundation is its research-backed curriculum, active learning approach, and one-to-one adult-child interaction. Jumpstart trains adult mentors, primarily college students, to work in exclusive yearlong relationships with the children. By providing the children with undivided attention, reading with them, and working with them on academic and social skills, Jumpstart mentors increase children's vocabularies, enhance their ability to read and learn, and improve the quality of their social interactions by the time they enter kindergarten. In 2005-2006, children who participated in Jumpstart programs increased their literacy, language, and social skills by 26 percent. Since 1993, thousands of Jumpstart mentors have helped more than 50,000 children from low-income communities around the country enter school ready to learn at grade level. Jumpstart has earned a four-star rating from Charity Navigator and is the recipient of the Fast Company/Monitor Group Social Capitalist Award (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007) and the Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy's Directors Award. For more information about Jumpstart, visit www.jstart.org.

For more information, please contact:

Phone: 617-269-7171


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