10/06/10 — Read a book Thursday and help set a world record

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Read a book Thursday and help set a world record

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on October 6, 2010 1:46 PM

Wayne County families can be part of setting a new world record simply by reading a book to their child on Thursday, says Kim Best of the Partnership for Children of Wayne County.

The fifth annual "Jumpstart's Read for the Record" is a nationwide campaign and features the largest shared reading experience on a single day, said Mrs. Best, community services coordinator.

The Partnership, in collaboration with Wayne County Public Library, encourages parents, teachers and community volunteers to pledge to read this year's designated book, "The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats on Thursday.

The daylong campaign kicks off on NBC's "Today" show, followed by a variety of reading events, including a storytime at the main branch of the Wayne County Public Library at 10:30 a.m.

Participants can also access a reading of the book online as www.wegivebooks.org, Mrs. Best said.

The event is designed to promote literacy and encourage reading starting at an early age.

"Throughout the day, just that one day, we're asking everybody to read the same book," she explained. "Last year we had almost 2,000 of our birth to 5-year-olds read the story. We're trying to at least meet our numbers from last year and have a large showing from here in Wayne County to promote literacy."

Partnership staff will visit child care centers to read to children, as will teachers on site. Parents are invited to also read to groups of children.

The effort is more than just a fun opportunity to read a children's book, though, Mrs. Best said. It is designed to draw attention to a glaring problem in this country -- that half of children from low-income neighborhood start school one to two years behind their peers and oftentimes remain behind.

To be counted in the local tally, participants are asked to read the book "The Snowy Day" on Thursday to a group of children between the ages of birth to 5, and e-mail the number of children to kbest@pfcw.org.