The Many Ingredients in a Read for the Record Sandwich 10.24.2016
Posted by: Naila Bolus, Jumpstart President And CEO
It’s no surprise to me that the bear (or perhaps some other culprit…) would want to steal your sandwich in Julia Sarcone-Roach’s wonderful book, The Bear Ate Your Sandwich. Sandwiches can seem simple. But the magic of a sandwich is in the details – the type of bread, the meats, cheeses, and other fillings you choose, and, of course, the condiments and spreads. Each element of a sandwich on its own isn’t too complicated, but when they come together you suddenly have an exciting, flavorful treat!
In many ways, this is how I see Jumpstart’s Read for the Record®, which is celebrating its 11th year this October. The concept of Read for the Record is simple: each year, we bring together millions of children and adults to read the same book on the same day in order to raise awareness about the educational inequities that persist in our country. But, just like in a sandwich, each element that makes Read for the Record successful is essential, meaningful, and impactful.
The first ingredient is the Jumpstart staff who work tirelessly to ensure that each child reading The Bear Ate Your Sandwich on October 27th is getting the most out of their experience. Our staff works year-round to build relationships with schools, community organizations, and individuals to spread the word about Read for the Record and Jumpstart’s larger vision: to work toward the day that every child enters kindergarten prepared to succeed.
Next are our dedicated sponsors and supporters. In partnership with Random House Children’s Books, we have created special editions of The Bear Ate Your Sandwich in both English and Spanish that feature reading tips, vocabulary words, reading comprehension questions, and conversation starters. Over 100,000 of these special edition books will be placed into the hands of children this October– a record number for Jumpstart! In addition to partners like Random House, I could not be more thrilled about the fabulous list of Literacy Champions that have joined our campaign this year, including Bridget Moynahan, Josh Duhamel, Jane Lynch, Kyla-Drew Simmons, Danica McKellar, Martellus Bennett, Shaun T, and Scott Kelly. These Literacy Champions help us raise awareness about the importance of giving all children, regardless of zip code, equal opportunities to read and succeed. Keep your eyes peeled for where they may pop up on October 27th!
Finally, perhaps the most important element of Jumpstart’s Read for the Record “sandwich” is local communities and organizations. For the last several years, Broward County Public Schools, the Children’s Services Council of Broward County, and other local organizations have partnered with Jumpstart. This year they will give over 40,000 Read for the Record books to children in Broward County, Florida. United Through Reading, a nonprofit dedicated to uniting serving U.S. military families who face physical separation by facilitating the bonding experience of reading aloud together, has once again embraced Read for the Record as a way to continue their important mission. Books have been sent to deployed U.S. Navy ships, U.S. Coast Guard cutters, and bases around the globe, and military men and women will read to children in person, or record videos of themselves reading to send to their children at home, along with a copy of The Bear Ate Your Sandwich.
The enthusiasm and engagement that Jumpstart’s Read for the Record inspires in others energizes me year after year. I love seeing how excited children get by the idea that reading our Read for the Record book connects them to other children all around the world, and I am so proud of the ways that Jumpstart’s Read for the Record empowers children and communities to dream bigger, for themselves and their vision for the future. I hope you’ll join us in our record-breaking efforts to shine a spotlight on the importance of early literacy and high-quality education for all young children by registering to Read for the Record on October 27th!