Parents, volunteers reading to break a record

By: Lisa McDivitt Email
By: Lisa McDivitt Email

Thursday is national “Read for the Record” day.

Parents and volunteers all over the country are trying to break a world record by reading to more than 1 million students across the country.

The idea behind “Read for the Record” day is to get young children interested and involved in reading before they start school.

Research shows many preschoolers, especially low-income children, are at risk of falling behind and never catching up.

Studies show six out of 10 low-income families have no books at home for kids that age and that those children often start kindergarten on a level two years behind their peers.

Many of them never make up that gap and experts say they’re three or four times more likely to drop out of school.

James Cleveland, the president of Jumpstart, a children’s literacy organization, says, “More than 30 percent of American children are arriving in kindergarten lacking language and literacy skills they need to be successful in the classroom. And unfortunately, without a lot of individualized intervention – if they don't receive that in kindergarten or beyond, they're likely to stay behind."

The idea behind the Jumpstart program isn’t to teach preschoolers to read, just to give them a foundation for reading.

As thousands of volunteers descend on classrooms reading to children Thursday, members of Congress will be among them.
Two dozen lawmakers are reading ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ to preschoolers at the Capitol.

‘Read for the Record’ day is sponsored by Jumpstart, the Pearson Foundation, Wal-Mart and several other corporate and national sponsors.

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