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JumpStart’s 'Read for the Record' looks to help young students enjoy reading

Every year, JumpStart offers millions of children around the world an opportunity to engage with college students for a day of fun-filled reading. Read for the Record has been a yearly event with the hopes of having every student start kindergarten prepared to succeed. Senior site manager for JumpStart Columbia Chrissie Bennett says the purpose of the Read for the Record event is to give a literary boost to kids who may be at an economic disadvantage.

“Read for the record is a worldwide campaign that Jumpstart hosts, this is our eighth year, it’s a day where kids come together to read a book, the same book all around the world, with an adult, and the goal is to break the world record, the highest number of kids having that literary experience” Bennett said.

Bennett was joined by 20 other members of JumpStart, all of whom were excited to be sharing the positive impact of reading. Bennett says the program has increased the children’s reading levels, while providing the volunteers with new exposure to a population they haven’t interacted with.     

JumpStart team leader and college student Sabrina Castro says events like Read for the Record give children an opportunity to view reading as fun.

“We always have a bunch of local celebrities here that read to them and they get to see that we all enjoy reading and they get to associate that with a positive feeling and so it’s really fun to see the smiles on their faces that they get to hear the story,” said Castro, who has been working with JumpStart for six years.

Maikieta Brantley, named Miss Boone County 2013 and a participant in Read for the Record this year, said she loves participating in events with children because it allows them to open up in a different way than they normally receive.

“I totally agree. I do a lot of volunteering with you and I think that they are able to connect with me more and they want to speak to me more and actually tell me things that they wouldn’t tell there maybe middle-aged teachers,” said Brantley.

Read for the Record is looking to break its previous record set last year of 2.3 million students participating.