October 15, 2015
By Naila Bolus
President and CEO of Jumpstart
A few days ago, a colleague and I were traveling home from a business trip. As we waited at the airport gate, we chatted about what we were reading and I pulled from my bag a copy of the latest book on my list to show her. It was a book that I had taken out from our local library, which my colleague instantly recognized and exclaimed, “Wow, a library book.”
Her response surprised me. For my family, trips to the library are a weekly occurrence. We all – my husband and three daughters ages 10 to 13 – love the endless choices, and the thrill of discovering a hidden treasure. I often lose my children in the stacks, or find them curled up in a corner poring over the pages of a new title.
The library has been a central part of our lives from the time that my children were born. I am grateful for the opportunities we had to surround them with books, to participate in weekly “story times,” and to support their early learning by reading to them.
A few months back, The New York Times published an article that stood out to me because it discussed how picture books greatly aid in children’s brain development through the diversity of words and the stimulation of a child’s imagination. The science proving the benefits of reading with children early and often has evolved greatly over the past decade and, to my great pleasure, more attention than ever is being given to early childhood education and development.
I am privileged to work for an organization that started a national campaign ten years ago to spread the word about the importance of reading to children and the long-term benefits of building their language and literacy skills. We know these are skills that are essential to children’s long-term academic success.
On October 22, I invite you to join me for Jumpstart’s Read for the Record®. This year’s campaign book, Not Norman: A Goldfish Story by Kelly Bennett, is a humorous tale about a child who finds a new friend in an unexpected place. With vivid illustrations and expressive language, the story is sure to engage children and adults of all ages. Jumpstart holds the record for the most people reading the same book on the same day (over 2.4 million!), and this year, with your help, we hope to blow that record out of the water - no pun intended. We are extremely proud to work with the Institute of Museum and Library Services for our 10th anniversary and I couldn’t think of a better place to find a cozy spot to read Not Norman than in your favorite library with friends and family. Through Read for the Record®, I hope many more families will rediscover the magic of their local library.
To learn more about how you can be included in this record-breaking celebration, visit readfortherecord.org today.