Atlanta Kids Help Power World Record-Setting Reading Challenge

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Readers, young and old in the Atlanta area helped break a world record for reading.


Recently, Jumpstart, a national early education nonprofit organization, announced that its 2013 Read for the Record campaign successfully broke the world reading record and that children in the city of Atlanta played a big part in the national reading initiative’s success.

During this year’s campaign, 2,462,860 adults and children read “Otis,” by Loren Long. During the day, around 400 kids and parents gathered at the Atlanta Children’s Museum to watch the museum’s “Imaginators” act out the book.

“The event held in Atlanta was a huge part of the success of this year’s campaign, supported by celebrity mom Tiffani Thiessen,” said Caitlin Hostetler, a representative for the event.

The new record of more than 2.4 million surpassed last year’s record of 2.3 million adults and children who participated. The campaign, 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 the most people reading the same book on the same day.

“We’re thrilled to announce that Jumpstart’s 2013 Read for the Record campaign has set a new world reading record,” said Naila Bolus, president and CEO of Jumpstart. “We want to thank our founding and presenting sponsor, The Pearson Foundation, and everyone who took the time to read to a child in their life on October 3. Together, we’ve also raised much-needed awareness of the importance of providing high‑quality early childhood education to all children in America.”

The recordbreaking turnout included more than 400,000 who read a digital version of the book for free at

“Otis” author, Loren Long, read himself in classrooms in New York City and Hoboken, additionally hosting an official reading on Google Hangout for his friends and fans spread far and wide. These reading events were complemented by individual reading celebrations in classrooms, libraries, offices, and community centers across the United States.

As part of this year’s campaign, Jumpstart, The Pearson Foundation and other partner organizations hosted thousands of Read for the Record events nationwide to set the new world reading record and raise awareness of the importance of high‑quality early education.

“A strong foundation is an essential first step for every child, and Jumpstart’s Read for the Record is a powerful way for education leaders, teachers, parents and children to bring awareness to the ongoing early education crisis in America,” said Mark Nieker, President and CEO of The Pearson Foundation. “We join Jumpstart and record breakers everywhere in drawing attention to the important role that Jumpstart plays in the lives of children and celebrating that, for the eighth consecutive year, more people than ever have taken part in this celebration.”


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