October 7, 2008
Karla Denny, Director of Communications, 785-296-4876
Kansas Joins Jumpstart’s Read for the Record Campaign
The Kansas Department of Education, State Board of Education members, administrators and teachers in districts across the state participated in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record campaign on Thursday, October 2, 2008. The campaign encouraged hundreds of thousands of children and adults from across the country to read the same book, Corduroy, on the same day, October 2, 2008. One book. One day. For children everywhere! Last Thursday, Dr. Posny, Dr. DeBacker and others from the Kansas State Department of Education and the State Board of Education traveled to various schools to read with pre-school, kindergarten, first and second grade students.
State Board of Education members Steve Abrams, Jana Shaver, Kathy Martin, Janet Waugh, Sally Cauble, Carol Rupe and Bill Wagnon were among the many administrators, teachers, librarians and others in numerous schools across the state sharing the book Corduroy with students. Events ranged from reading to small groups of students to those including over 200 children. Schools in one district made the day memorable for young students by having a “pajama party” and encouraging each child to bring a favorite stuffed animal to the reading.
Bookmarks were given to the children participating in Read for the Record and classes received copies of the book. In Kansas, 5,303 children were read to on Thursday, October 2, 2008. Totals turned in nationally to date show that over 450,000 children participated. Totals will be finalized and the exact number will be reported later.
“What a great day for me and for children across our state!” said Commissioner of Education Alexa Posny. “It is rewarding to be back in classrooms sharing my love of reading with so many children. Their enthusiasm is contagious.” For pictures of the event, go to www.ksde.org.
Jumpstart – a national nonprofit organization focused on intervening early in the lives of at-risk children, through intensive early education programs – has created a way for every adult and every child across the country to raise public awareness about the earlyeducation gap that exists between income levels. In addition to awareness, Jumpstart’s campaign raises funds to support the organization’s programs, which serve preschool children from more than 60 low-income communities across 20 states.
The campaign is designed to generate public awareness by creating the largest “shared reading experience” ever by breaking the record set on a single day in September 2007, when over 250,000 people read the same book across the country as part of Jumpstart’s second Read for the Record campaign. Shared reading experiences ranged from an adult and child reading in their home to big group events with hundreds of people gathering at public facilities for large community reading sessions. Last year, Jumpstart’s Read for the Record raised more than $500,000 to directly support and expand the organization’s early education work in low-income communities.