West Virginians Urged to Participate in Effort to Set Reading Record

October 03, 2011

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia schoolchildren, parents, community leaders and others are being encouraged to join a national campaign to set a world record for the largest shared reading experience ever held.

State Superintendent Jorea Marple, in conjunction with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), will be participating in Jumpstart's Read for the Record event on Oct. 6, when children and adults from around the world will read the children’s classic “Llama, Llama Red Pajama” by Anna Dewdney. Marple will read to kindergarten and first grade students at Jayenne Elementary School in Marion County.

Many other schools have plans in the works for the  Read for the Record Day, including Barrackville, Blackshere, Rivesville and White Hall elementaries in Marion County.  At Steenrod Elementary in Ohio County,  the Parent-Teacher Association purchased the book for every teacher.  Bridgeview and Piedmont elementaries  in Kanawha County, as well as Belmont Elementary School in Pleasants County also are participating.

In Upshur County,  Union Elementary in Upshur County has invited community volunteers to read, including Pam Balch, president of West Virginia Wesleyan College; Dr. Amy Pearson, a family physician; Pat Long, president of the Upshur County Board of Education; Joey Baxa, Buckhannon firefighter; B.J. Parks, West Virginia National Guard; and Randy Tenney, West Virginia Wesleyan’s baseball coach,  along with parent volunteers.

The Read for the Record event is but one of the many opportunities West Virginia schools can participate in as the West Virginia Department of Education and I work to make reading a priority in our schools and our homes through www.readwv.com. The ReadWV campaign is designed to encourage children and the adults in their lives to make reading a priority early in life and to ensure that children read every day.

“Reading well is one of the most important skills a child needs to learn,” Marple said. “When children become good readers in the early grades, they are more likely to perform well in other subjects and all through their school days. Read for the Record raises awareness about the importance of reading and makes it a priority.” 

Last year, more than 2 million people participated in the Read for the Record event nationwide and more than $1 million was raised to support Jumpstart's literacy-building efforts. This year, the campaign will also include efforts to set a second record through We Give Books! Those who go online between now and Oct. 6 can help make it possible for children across the United States to get their own copy of “Llama, Llama Red Pajama.”

For more information, contact the West Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699, or visit the campaign website at www.readfortherecord.org and www.wegivebooks.org.


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