Released by Laura-Beth Hatem with Pearson:
AUSTIN, TX - An unprecedented number of school children across the country, including thousands of children from Texas school districts such as Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and Fort Worth will Thursday attempt to set the record for the most number of people reading the same book on the same day.
Thousands of school children in Texas classrooms and around the nation will set out to break a world record as adults collectively read the popular children's book The Very Hungry Caterpillar to more than one million children.
Research shows that poor reading skills early in a child's life contribute significantly to the widening of the achievement gap. Children are more likely to struggle in school if they rarely or ever are read to at home.
The record-breaking reading event is intended to promote the urgent need to combat the childhood literacy crisis and demonstrate the importance of reading to young children as part of the national Jumpstart Read for the Record campaign.
"The importance of reading to young children to help them succeed in school cannot be emphasized enough," said Dr. Terry Grier, superintendent for the Houston Independent School District, the largest school system in Texas. "We're proud to partner with Pearson to get children excited about reading and smash the world record."
At schools across Texas, superintendents, school board members, public officials, parents, business executives from companies such as Pearson, and other adults will read The Very Hungry Caterpillar to children in their classrooms.
The Pearson Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Pearson "Ÿone of the world's leading education companies, is providing tens of thousands of copies of the storybook in English and Spanish and related online instructional resources such as lesson plans and classroom activities to help school districts reinforce early literacy skills for at-risk children.
The publication of The Very Hungry Caterpillar was underwritten by the Pearson Foundation, to ensure proceeds directly benefit Jumpstart's work to help close the literacy gap in low-income communities across the nation.
"The record-breaking event is intended to focus everyone's attention on the importance of reading as the foundation of all learning and resoundedly serve as a call to action to close the literacy gap," said Pearson Foundation President Mark Nieker.
About the Pearson Foundation
Pearson, the international education and information company, is Jumpstart's Read for the Record Sponsor and Founding Partner. The Pearson Foundation extends Pearson's commitment to education by partnering with leading nonprofit, civic, and business organizations to provide financial, organizational, and publishing assistance across the globe. The Foundation aims to make a difference by sponsoring innovative educational programs and extending its educational expertise to help in classrooms and in local communities. For more information, visit www.pearsonfoundation.org.