National Nonprofit Jumpstart Sets Guinness World Record More than 100,000 children read same book on August 24 and draw visibility

to America's school readiness crisis



    BOSTON, Aug. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- On August 24, Jumpstart and its
 partners -- American Eagle Outfitters, Pearson, and Starbucks -- hosted
 events across the country as part of Jumpstart's Read for the Record, a
 national campaign designed to engage adults and children in setting the
 world record for the largest shared reading experience ever. Although the
 official count is still being tallied, adults had pledged (prior to the
 event) to read with more than 150,000 children yesterday. As of August 27,
 600 reports had come in providing documentation of 114,000 children, who
 read The Little Engine That Could with adults on Aug. 24. With more than
 1,000 local events taking place last Thursday, Jumpstart expects this
 number will keep climbing as reports continue to be sent from locations
 across the country.
     "Jumpstart's mission -- working toward the day when every child in
 America enters school prepared to succeed -- has resonated in communities
 all over the country, especially those in dire need of quality early
 education resources," said Rob Zeaske, Vice President of Jumpstart.
 "Jumpstart's Read for the Record campaign was not just a shared reading
 experience or a fun way to set a Guinness World Record; it's an echoing
 statement by thousands of Americans about what is positive and possible."
     Prior to the record-setting day, hundreds of thousands visited the
 campaign website to register -- signifying a pledge to read with children
 last Thursday. In addition, more than a thousand librarians, teachers,
 Starbucks store managers, and local enthusiasts used the online event
 planning resources to create public record-setting reading events in their
 communities. Official documentation of participation at these events is
 still being collected in cooperation with Guinness World Records(TM), who
 presented Jumpstart (on August 25) with a certificate for setting this new
 world record. To date, some of the greatest participation rates have been
 posted by fellow education- focused organizations. Bright Horizons Family
 Solutions, one of Jumpstart's campaign partners, reported more than 33,000
 children participating in 350 centers. La Petite Academy recorded more than
 10,000 children across multiple locations. And North East Independent
 School District in San Antonio, TX rallied all their elementary schools,
 which have together already accounted for 18,000 child participants. Many
 who read in their homes and local communities have also sent documentation
 to prove they too helped set the record -- with anywhere from one to
 several hundred children -- and these are every bit as important
 participants.
     In addition to participation rates that dramatically surpassed
 expectations and set a new Guinness World Record, which Jumpstart has every
 intention of breaking next year in the 2007 installment of this annual
 campaign, another key component was the publication of a custom limited
 edition of the record-setting book, The Little Engine That Could. Custom
 published and underwritten by Pearson and its Penguin Young Readers
 division, this limited edition has been available at Starbucks since August
 1, with 100% of sales benefiting Jumpstart. Sales will continue through
 today; however, many stores have sold out with more than 50,000 books sold
 in a four week period. Despite limited supplies at Starbucks, custom
 editions may still be donated to children in need through
 www.readfortherecord.org.
     Jumpstart's Read for the Record was developed because of a striking
 disparity in early education resources. While many children benefit from
 nearly 2,000 hours of one-to-one reading with an adult by kindergarten,
 others are exposed to as few as 25 hours (in total). Research shows that
 such early deficits lead to a performance gap that persists throughout
 school and into adulthood, contributing to additional social issues, such
 as dropping out of school, unemployment and crime. By bringing national
 attention to this issue, Jumpstart and its partners are taking big strides
 toward remedying this entirely solvable problem.
     "As thrilled as we are with this Guinness World Record, what really
 matters to Jumpstart, and what we can't be happier about," said Zeaske, "is
 that through Jumpstart's Read for the Record we've been able to engage
 hundreds of thousands in Jumpstart's mission."
     About JUMPSTART
     Jumpstart is a national early education organization that works toward
 the day every child in America enters school prepared to succeed. Through
 extraordinary attention in yearlong one-to-one relationships, Jumpstart
 inspires children to learn, adults to teach, families to get involved, and
 communities to progress together. Headquartered in Boston, in the 2006-2007
 program year Jumpstart will engage more than 3,000 college students in
 service to 12,000 children; the organization operates in 64 communities in
 19 states and serves more than 225 Head Start and other early learning
 centers across the country. Jumpstart's national sponsors include American
 Eagle Outfitters, AmeriCorps, Pearson, and Starbucks. Jumpstart is the
 recipient of the Fast Company/Monitor Social Capitalist Award (2004, 2005
 and 2006) and the Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy's Directors
 Award. For more information, visit the Jumpstart Web site at
 www.jstart.org. For more information about Jumpstart's Read for the Record
 campaign, visit www.readfortherecord.org.
     About AMERICAN EAGLE OUTFITTERS
     American Eagle Outfitters (Nasdaq:   AEOS), headquartered in
 Pennsylvania, is a leading lifestyle retailer that designs, markets, and
 sells its own brand of relaxed, casual clothing for 15 to 25 year olds,
 providing high-quality merchandise at affordable prices. AE's collection
 includes modern basics like jeans, cargo pants and graphic Ts as well as a
 stylish assortment of cool accessories, outerwear and footwear. American
 Eagle Outfitters currently operates 783 AE stores in 49 states, the
 District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and 71 AE stores in Canada. AE also
 operates via its web business, www.ae.com, which offers additional sizes
 and styles of favorite AE merchandise. American Eagle was Jumpstart's first
 corporate sponsor and has been supporting the organization since 1997.
     About PEARSON
     Pearson plc (NYSE:   PSO) is an international media company. Its major
 business operations are: The Financial Times Group, which has an
 international network of business and financial newspapers and online
 services that are read by millions of business executives and investors
 every day; Pearson Education, the world's leading education business, which
 helps teachers teach and students learn at every stage and in every part of
 the world; and Penguin Group, which is one of the pre-eminent names in
 consumer publishing, with an unrivalled range of fiction and non-fiction,
 bestsellers, and classic titles.
     Pearson and its businesses are proud sponsors of Jumpstart's Read for
 the Record campaign. Jumpstart and the Pearson businesses share a passion
 for education and inspiring people to reach their full potential. These
 shared goals and values led Jumpstart and Pearson 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, mentoring from a
 Pearson professional, and additional support and resources during the first
 two years of their teaching careers. For more information go to
 www.pearsonfoundation.org.
     About STARBUCKS
     Through the dedication of our passionate partners (employees),
 Starbucks Coffee Company has transformed the way people in 37 countries
 enjoy their coffee, one cup at a time. Starbucks is the premier purveyor of
 the finest coffee in the world, with more than 11,000 retail locations in
 North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim.
 The Company is committed to offering its customers the highest quality
 coffee and human connection through the Starbucks Experience, while
 striving to improve the social, environmental and economic well being of
 its partners, coffee farmers, countries of coffee origin, and the
 communities which it serves. Through Ethos Water, Starbucks demonstrates
 its long history of integrating a social conscience into all aspects of its
 business. The Company surprises and delights its customers by producing and
 selling bottled Starbucks Frappuccino(R) coffee drinks, Starbucks
 DoubleShot(R) espresso drink and Starbucks(R) superpremium ice creams
 through its joint venture partnerships, and Starbucks(TM) Coffee and Cream
 Liqueurs through a marketing and distribution agreement, in other
 convenient locations outside its retail operations. The Company's brand
 portfolio includes superpremium Tazo(R) teas, Starbucks Hear Music(TM)
 compact discs, Seattle's Best Coffee and Torrefazione Italia. These brands'
 unique and innovative personalities allow Starbucks to appeal to a broad
 consumer base.
     For more information, contact:
     Katie Rahm
     Jumpstart
     Ph: 857-413-4624
     katie.rahm@jstart.org
 
 

SOURCE Jumpstart
RELATED LINKS
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