Follett Book Stores Across the Country Partner with the Pearson Foundation to Support National Reading Campaign

Jumpstart's Read for the Record Breaks World Record, Again

Sep 20, 2007, 01:00 ET from Jumpstart

    WOODBRIDGE, Ill., Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Follett Higher
 Education Group bookstores along with the Pearson Foundation, made history
 joining hundreds of thousands of children and adults across the country to
 break the world record for the number of people reading the same book on a
 single day. Follett bookstores on the campuses of Florida State University,
 Georgetown University, Washington University in St. Louis, Morehouse
 College, Rutgers University, Baylor University and University of
 Massachusetts Boston joined Jumpstart's Read for the Record campaign,
 hosting events today to raise awareness about the importance of early
 childhood education and reading to young children. Today's reading campaign
 across the country raised $1 million to support Jumpstart's work with
 at-risk preschoolers.
     The Follett bookstore events helped create the world's largest "shared
 reading experience" as children, college students and adults gathered to
 read this year's official campaign book The Story of Ferdinand, written by
 Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson, published by Penguin Young
 Readers Group. Many Follett bookstores nationwide sold the custom campaign
 edition of the book and participants registered to read or donated books
 for children in need through the campaign website,
     The Pearson Foundation matched each online book donation/purchase with
 its own donation of another children's book and will deliver those to
 children in at-risk communities. Pearson also covered all publishing costs,
 making it possible for Jumpstart to receive 100% of the funds raised
 through the sale of the special edition books.
     Jumpstart's Read for the Record campaign included thousands of events
 across the country, with a national event at the Smithsonian Institution in
 Washington, D.C. Mrs. Laura Bush kicked off Jumpstart's Read for the Record
 Campaign on NBC's TODAY Show with Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira. Lauer and
 Vieira wrote the foreword to the custom limited edition of The Story of
 Ferdinand and featured the Campaign throughout this morning's three-hour
 TODAY show program.
     Gary Shapiro, senior vice president for Intellectual Properties of
 Follett Higher Education Group noted that today's event is especially
 important as it calls attention to the importance of children having access
 to books, and for adults to share reading experiences with them. He said,
 "Children who miss out on the cognitive, social and emotional experiences
 associated with reading miss out on an important aspect of their education.
 Those of us who grew up with books as a significant part of our lives know
 the profound impact reading can have on a child's future."
     Bill Barke, CEO of the Pearson Arts and Sciences Group, said, "Our
 partnership with Follett bookstores and Jumpstart helps us take one
 additional step to ensure that our country's at-risk children are not
 forgotten, and that we provide them the resources they need to be
 successful when they enter kindergarten. We know that by first grade, a
 child from a low-income family in the U.S. will have only a fourth of the
 vocabulary of his mid-income peer. We must do everything we can to reverse
 this alarming statistic."
     About Follett Higher Education Group
     Follett Higher Education Group is a family-owned bookstore provider
 that has operated with integrity and respect for 133 years. Follett's
 manages more than 750 bookstores nationwide and provides management
 systems, support services, and used textbooks to over 1,800 independently
 managed bookstores.
     Jumpstart and the Pearson Foundation share a passion for education and
 inspiring people to reach their full potential. These shared goals and
 values led Jumpstart and the Pearson Foundation to create the Pearson
 Teacher Fellowship in 2001. Each year, the Pearson Teacher Fellowship
 provides the opportunity for a select group of achievement-oriented college
 graduates to enter the early education field by becoming preschool teachers
 in Head Start and other early learning centers serving at-risk children.
 The Fellowship provides these talented individuals a stipend, intensive
 training, assistance earning teaching certification, and additional support
 and resources during the first two years of their teaching careers. In
 2006, Pearson and its businesses The Financial Times Group, The Penguin
 Group, and Pearson Education became a major sponsor of the inaugural
 campaign for Jumpstart's Read for the Record, which raised over $1 million
 for Jumpstart's work to help preschoolers from low-income communities with
 their language and literacy skills. For more information, go to

SOURCE Jumpstart