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Area Libraries, Schools, Families Invited to Break World Reading Record

For Immediate Release
Friday, October 1, 2010

Contact: Beth Spezia, WSIU Outreach Coordinator, (618) 453-5595, beth.spezia@wsiu.org

Carbondale, Ill. – Area libraries, schools, child care centers, and families are invited to support literacy efforts in our region while breaking the world record for reading the same book on the same day by joining WSIU Public Broadcasting, the public media arm of Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), for “Read for the Record” on Thursday, October 7, 2010.

Presented by Jumpstart, a national early education organization dedicated to preparing young children for success in school, “Read for the Record” is a global campaign designed to promote literacy and empower people to read together as a community. Since 2006, “Read for the Record” has helped more than three million participants share in the power of reading – all while setting a world record for the most children reading the same book on the same day. This annual global celebration of reading and community service highlights the importance of reading to young children to help them develop crucial early language and literacy skills.

Carbondale Public Library, located at 405 West Main in Carbondale, is one of several groups that have pledged to participate on October 7. Pat Luebke, Children's Librarian, will lead participants at 6pm in a reading of this year’s "Read for the Record" book selection, The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats. A 1963 Caldecott Medal winner, The Snowy Day is the simple tale of a boy waking up to discover that snow has fallen during the night. The little boy celebrates with a day of humble adventures – experimenting with footprints, knocking snow from a tree, creating snow angels, and trying to save a snowball for the next day.

Those interested in participating can sign up online at www.readfortherecord.org and are encouraged to host their own “Read for the Record” event and activities. Area child care providers and families who pledge to participate are eligible for free children’s books to be distributed at Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) at John A. Logan College after October 7. After participants read this year's "Read for the Record" book, they should call CCR&R at 800-548-5563 and ask for Nina to reserve books for their children. Reserved books will be available for pick-up at CCR&R between October 11-22. Participants must print a copy of their online pledge acknowledgement from "Read for the Record" and be prepared to present it when they pick up their books.

In 2009, Jumpstart’s “Read for the Record” Campaign broke its own record for the world’s largest shared reading experience. More than two million children were read Eric Carle’s classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar at organized events across the U.S. and around the world. Hundreds of thousands of books were donated to children in need, and more than $1.4 million was raised through donations and book sales to support Jumpstart’s work with preschoolers.

About Jumpstart
To combat the crisis in early education, Jumpstart brings college students and community volunteers together with preschool children in low-income communities for year-long, individualized tutoring and mentoring. Jumpstart’s volunteers work with children on language and literacy skills to help prepare them for school and for life. During the 2008-2009 school year, Jumpstart children improved their school readiness skills by 29%.

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