‘Read for the Record’ effort attempts to close nation’s early education gap | NevadaAppeal.com

‘Read for the Record’ effort attempts to close nation’s early education gap

Nevada Appeal News Service
Mark Pardue, general manager of the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe, reads "The Story of Ferdinand" to Brianna Kurashewich, 3, Madison Lampe, 3, and Laura Flynn, 4. Jen Schmidt/Nevada Appeal News Service

Mark Pardue, general manager of the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe, opened the pages and began reading about Ferdinand, the lovable bull from Spain who would rather smell the flowers than enter a bullring.

Children at the Village Christian Preschool listened intently, unaware they were helping to break a record.

In 2006, over 150,000 children read the same book to set a new Guiness World Record. Last week, Jumpstart’s Read for the Record was trying to break the record.

With reports still coming in, Jumpstart’s Web site, readfortherecord.org hasn’t proclaimed whether it was able to break the record.

As one of the sponsors of the national event, the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe provided books to the children at the preschool, brought them breakfast Thursday and then Pardue and Scott Ruhl, casino manager, read “The Story of Ferdinand” to the children.

The event is a national effort to create awareness about the education gap that exists between socioeconomic levels in the United States, while raising money to fund early education for underserved youth.

Village Christian Preschool was chosen by the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe because several Hyatt employees send their children there, according to Diane Andreini, human resources coordinator for the hotel.

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 every adult and 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 low-income communities across 20 states.

Jumpstart’s Read for the Record campaign hopes to broaden the organization’s impact to thousands and more – generating public awareness by creating the largest “shared reading experience” ever, thereby breaking the record set on a single day in August 2006, when 150,000 people across the country read the same book as part of the inaugural campaign and raised more than $500,000 to support the organization’s early education work in low-income communities.

To encourage online participation among adults and children worldwide, Penguin Young Readers Group made available on the Internet for the month of September an interactive online version of “The Story of Ferdinand” in both English and Spanish.

The digital version was created by Pearson’s Family Education Network and is available by logging on to http://www.funbrain.com, as well as http://www.readfortherecord.org.