Wheelock College Joins Jumpstart’s Read For The Record

September 20, 2007

Jumpstart Boston at Wheelock College celebrates Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, a national campaign to engage hundreds of thousands of children and adults in breaking the world record for the most children reading the same book on the same day.

Wheelock College Site Manager Elise Albrecht and Wheelock Corps Members will be bringing books and activities to four local Roxbury and Dorchester preschools, raising funds to support books for every preschooler in our preschool centers, and sending volunteers to various Read for the Record events spanning the Boston community.

“Early learning experience are crucial to the growth and development of young children,” said Bridgit Paula, a Wheelock Jumpstart alum. “Jumpstart’s Read for the Record provides an opportunity for everyone in the United States to support our children’s school readiness by making early education a national priority.”

Paula encourages readers of all ages to register at www.readfortherecord.org and sign up to read the campaign’s official book, The Story of Ferdinand, on September 20. The campaign website for the Wheelock team, http://www.readfortherecord.org/site/TR?team_id=1230&pg=team&fr_id=1030&et=y0xXjK9_eR5HfRJ_oNbU-g..&s_tafId=1060, showcases the work of Wheelock students in fundraising for Jumpstart. will be held in schools, libraries, stores, hotels, playgrounds, offices, and homes. Jumpstart’s Read for the Record is not limited to large events. Any child and adult can participate just by sitting down to read – maybe even under a shady tree, just where Ferdinand would want to be.

Jumpstart – a national nonprofit organization focused on intervening early in the lives of at-risk children, through intensive, one-to-one early education mentoring – has created this campaign so that every adult and every child across the country can help raise public awareness about the early education gap that exists between income levels. In addition to awareness, Jumpstart’s campaign will raise funds to support the organization’s programs, which serve preschool children from more than 60 low-income communities across 20 states.

Jumpstart’s Read for the Record builds on the important work Jumpstart is doing in communities across the country and will broaden the organization’s impact to thousands more children. The campaign will generate public awareness by creating the largest “shared reading experience” ever and by breaking the record set on a single day in August 2006, when 150,000 people read the same book across the country as part of Jumpstart’s Read for the Record inaugural campaign. Jumpstart Boston at Wheelock College has raised over $400, supporting books for an entire preschool of children. Last year, Jumpstart’s Read for the Record raised more than $500,000 to support the organization’s early education work in low-income communities.

“When children begin behind their peers, catching up, especially without additional assistance, is difficult and unlikely,” says Jumpstart’s CEO, George Askew, MD. “Children who miss out on key cognitive, social and emotional experiences are more likely to repeat grades, drop out of school, and even engage in criminal activity.”

The problem starts in the years before kindergarten, Dr. Askew says. “Studies show that children from low-income communities engage in one-to-one reading far less often than their middle class peers – as few as 25 hours over their first five years, compared to middle-income children who enjoy, on average, as many as 1,700 hours of one-to-one reading time over the same period.” Also, these same children often have zero age-appropriate books in their homes. The result: children from families with lesser means tend to enter kindergarten with vocabularies that are one-fourth that of children with access to greater financial resources.

Jumpstart, its partners, and an estimated 200,000+ people joining Jumpstart’s Read for the Record campaign in 2007 will be working to address the current early education crisis. Jumpstart’s longstanding relationships with its national multi-year partners, American Eagle Outfitters, Pearson, and Sodexho are a

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