Thursday, October 10, 2013
They danced and shook their limbs all about. Then they sat and became among the millions of children participating in Jumpstart’s “Read For the Record” literacy campaign, in which kids from across the nation read the same book on the same day.
Last year 2.3 million youngsters participated.
About 20 children up to pre-school gathered in a room with their mothers and caretakers at the Goose Creek branch of the Berkeley County Library System (BCLS) on Oct. 1.
“Read For the Record” was incorporated into the library’s weekly children’s story time, which happens on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. in Goose Creek as well as on Mondays in Sangaree and Daniel Island and on Thursdays in Moncks Corner.
They sat and listened to BCLS Young Adult Librarian BriAnne Baxley read “Otis” by Loren Long.
It’s the story of a personified old red farm tractor, “Otis,” that becomes neglected after a new yellow tractor comes to the farm. But when a calf gets stuck in the mud and the new tractor and fire department scare it deeper into the mud pit, the familiar purr of Otis comforts the calf back to the safety of dry land.
Baxley said local children can probably relate to the story of a tractor since much of Berkeley County is rural and they have been around or seen a tractor at some point.
Children actively participated in the reading session when Baxley would stop and ask what they thought would happen next.
Children were then given egg shakers. They started and stopped shaking them several times on Baxley’s command.
She then pulled stuffed farm animal puppets out of a canvas bag and asked students which animal it is and what sounds they make before passing the puppets around the room.
Baxley then read John Himmelman’s “Chickens to the Rescue.”
Children then sang along with Baxley on “Old McDonald Had a Farm.”
The boys and girls then stood in line and received a certificate and a sticker saying they broke a world record.
The children also received an image of Otis the tractor that they could take home to color.
Baxley asked each child if they would read when they got home.
“They’re really trying to encourage the adult-child reading bond,” Baxley said.
“Jumpstart’s Read for the Record is a call to action to Americans to recognize the importance of quality early education, especially for our most vulnerable children,” BCLS Deputy Director and Youth Services Coordinator Sharon Fashion said. “When children start behind, they tend to stay behind.”
Since the campaign’s inception in 2006, more than 9 million people have joined local Read for the Record reading celebrations. Jumpstart has raised more than $8 million to support its year-round work in preschools in low-income neighborhoods.
Jumpstart is a national early education organization working toward the day every child in America enters kindergarten 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.