We Give Books’ Digital Readers Join the Bug Squad and Set a New World Record

29 October 2012

Annual campaign experiences significant increase in digital reading

New York, NY – We Give Books, the digital reading initiative from the Pearson Foundation and the Penguin Group, announced today that a record-breaking number of digital readers took part in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record. Almost 400,000 readers showed their support for early childhood education by reading Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad, by David Soman and Jacky Davis, on the same day for free at www.wegivebooks.org, an increase of more than 500% from 2011’s online digital reading record.

We Give Books allows anyone with access to the Internet to read a book with a child, give a book and share their experience with others. Throughout the fall, online readers showed their support for early childhood education by “Joining the Bug Squad!” which gave them access to an entire library of digital children’s books, including new iPad and mobile device ready titles. On October 4, 2012, Bug Squad members were able to read, give, and share as part of the big record-breaking day.

We Give Books helped to prepare thousands of students across the United States for this year’s Read for the Record. Gifts of printed books allowed more than a million students to take part in this important campaign. Also, from August to October, We Give Books delivered books and Reading Celebrations directly to schools from California to Texas and from Georgia to New York – and many other locations using the We Give Books ReadMobile (http://www.wegivebooks.org/readmobile).

Jumpstart’s Read for the Record would not be possible without the support and partnership brought by the hundreds of school districts that participate in this event and come to count on it as part of their fall literacy efforts. This year many students across the country received a special reading from a dignitary in their community, with more than 60 mayors and 20 first spouses participating in events ranging from small classroom readings to entire school and library celebrations.

In addition, each year the leading American education associations help to mobilize their combined membership of over two million teachers, school and district administrators, librarians, and universities in advance. The organizations include:

American Association of School Administrators
American Association of School Librarians
Association of Middle Level Educators
Consortium of School Networking
Council of Chief State School Officers
International Reading Association
National Association of Elementary School Principals
National Association of Secondary School Principals
National Association of State Boards of Education
National Catholic Education Association
National Education Association
National School Boards Association
Parent Teacher Association
Phi Delta Kappa
United States Conference of Mayors

Utah’s first lady Jeannette Herbert read the campaign book to a class of second-graders at a school in Salt Lake City. “Once children develop that love for reading, then that carries through, that doesn’t leave them,” said Herbert. “An enjoyment of reading will drive students to improve their skills throughout their futures.”

“Jumpstart’s Read for the Record is one of my favorite campaigns because it not only gets to the heart of what is important – getting our young people to love reading at an early age – but also promotes the ideal of giving to someone else,” said Pearson Foundation President and CEO Mark Nieker. “We are delighted to have so many people participate in Read for the Record offline and online at We Give Books, which is providing our literacy partners and the people they serve with access to more books, more donations and more community building.”

Media Contact:

Stacey Finkel
Pearson Foundation
Stacey.finkel@pearsonfoundation.org
703.304.1377

About The Pearson Foundation

The Pearson Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that aims to make a difference by promoting literacy, learning, and great teaching. The Pearson Foundation collaborates with leading businesses, nonprofits, and education experts to share good practice; foster innovation; and find workable solutions to the educational disadvantages facing young people and adults across the globe. More information on the Pearson Foundation can be found at www.pearsonfoundation.org.

About We Give Books

We Give Books (www.wegivebooks.org) is a philanthropic program from the Penguin Group and the Pearson Foundation that helps children become a lifelong readers and givers. We Give Books supports literacy through programs that engage entire communities. Working around the world through programs like Booktime and Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, Penguin and the Pearson Foundation have touched millions of lives.

About Jumpstart

Jumpstart is a national early education organization working toward the day every child in America enters school prepared to succeed. Jumpstart delivers a research-based and cost-effective program by training college students and community volunteers to serve preschool-age children in low-income neighborhoods. Through a proven curriculum, these children develop the language and literacy skills they need to be ready for school, setting them on a path for lifelong success. Jumpstart is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. Learn more at www.jstart.org.