Ashanti With Children

Jumpstart, a national early education non-profit organization, today announced the official kick-off to its 2012 Read for the Record campaign. As part of this year’s campaign, Jumpstart will host nearly 250 Read for the Record events nationwide to set a new world reading record and raise awareness of the importance of quality early education.

Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, presented in partnership with the Pearson
Foundation, is the one day each year when millions of individuals come together to
celebrate literacy by breaking the world record for reading the same book on the
same day. On October 4, adults and children across the country will read Ladybug
Girl and the Bug Squad, by David Soman and Jacky Davis, in support of Jumpstart’s
mission: to work toward the day every child in America enters school prepared to

“We’re so excited to kick off this year’s Read for the Record and invite millions of
people to participate in the world’s largest shared reading experience,” said Naila
Bolus, president and CEO of Jumpstart. “Through Read for the Record, everyone
can play a role in raising awareness of the early education crisis in our country.”
This year’s reading event marks the seventh consecutive year in which Jumpstart
and the Pearson Foundation have sought to showcase the important role that
reading has in shaping a life of learning and success. In low-income neighborhoods,
children start kindergarten 60 percent behind their peers from affluent
communities, leaving them unprepared when it’s time to start school. When
children start school behind, they are more likely to stay behind for the rest of their
lives and this gap only widens over time.

“Jumpstart makes an essential difference to young people, helping to make sure
that they begin school well prepared to succeed in school and in life,” said Mark
Nieker, president and CEO of The Pearson Foundation. “The Pearson Foundation has
been honored to be part of Jumpstart’s Read for the Record campaign from the
very start. We’re proud of the impact the campaign has made in the lives of so
many children and we invite record-breakers everywhere to join us again this year.”
In 2011 alone, Jumpstart’s Read for the Record impacted 2.2 million individuals,
raising awareness of the early education crisis and Jumpstart’s role in helping
students in pre-school classrooms across the United States.

As part of this year’s Read for the Record, Jumpstart has partnered with GRAMMY
Award winning, multi-platinum artist, Ashanti, who will serve as the official celebrity
ambassador for the campaign. As celebrity ambassador, Ashanti made a special
appearance on the TODAY Show on September 24, 2012 as part of NBC News’
Education Nation Summit coverage to encourage people to participate in
Jumpstart’s Read for the Record on October 4, 2012. Again this year, record breakers will also be able to take part in Jumpstart’s Readfor the Record by reading Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad for free at We Give Books (, the free digital reading initiative created by Penguin and the Pearson Foundation.

The 2012 Jumpstart’s Read for the Record partners include founding and presenting
campaign sponsor The Pearson Foundation, Bright Horizons, Comcast, Franklin
Templeton, Groupon, Lakeshore Learning Materials, The Penguin Young Readers
Group, Starbucks, Tommy Hilfiger and Sprout.

For more information on Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, please visit For information on how to get a copy of Ladybug
Girl and the Bug Squad, please visit

About Jumpstart

Jumpstart is a national early education organization working toward the day every
child in America enters school prepared to succeed. Jumpstart delivers a researchbased
and cost-effective program by training college students and community volunteers to serve preschool-age children in low-income neighborhoods. Through a proven curriculum, these children develop the language and literacy skills they need to be ready for school, setting them on a path for lifelong success. Jumpstart is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. 

About The Pearson Foundation

The Pearson Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that
aims to make a difference by promoting literacy, learning, and great teaching. The
Pearson Foundation collaborates with leading businesses, nonprofits, and education
experts to share good practice; foster innovation; and find workable solutions to
the educational disadvantages facing young people and adults across the globe.

Photo Courtesy Of: Jumpstart