February 18, 2020
Jumpstart Gets $20K Staples Grant for Read for the Record

Staples VP Scott Rankin presents book to Sandra Morataya at the Southern Middlesex Opportunity Council in Framingham.
October 9, 2009 — Jumpstart, a Boston-based national nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that every child in America enters school prepared to succeed, yesterday sought to set a world record for the largest shared reading experience, and received a $20,000 grant from Staples, Inc. to support its effort.

The fourth annual Read for the Record program was expected to connect one million pre-schoolers with adults to read Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar aloud in classrooms, libraries, and homes.

“Reading aloud to young children lays the groundwork for strong literacy skills and future success in school and life,” said Susan Werley, executive director of Jumpstart’s Northeast Region. “With support from sponsors like Staples, Jumpstart is able to help at-risk, pre-school children build their literacy skills and better understand the importance of reading.”

In Massachusetts, 4,000 children pledged to participate in the event, including 100 local pre-schoolers at Southern Middlesex Opportunity Council, a nonprofit that advocates for low-income families and individuals. Staples gave each child a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar for them to read at home.

Last year, nearly 700,000 readers shared the classic children’s tale, Corduroy.

“The excitement and joy of reading will be brought to a new level when Framingham youth become part of Jumpstart’s Read for the Record’s worldwide event,” said Paul Capelli, vice president of public relations at Staples. “It is sure to be a special moment that will help raise awareness about the impact reading has on early childhood development.”

Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, presented in partnership with Pearson, now in its fourth year, has raised more than $3 million to support Jumpstart’s mission with more than half a million books having been donated to children in need.

Jumpstart was founded in 1993 when 15 college students partnered with 15 preschool children in New Haven, Connecticut. Since 2000, with support from education partners and sponsors, the Jumpstart network has increased annually by an average of nearly 30%, making it one of America’s fastest growing nonprofit organizations.

Today, Jumpstart, which works with 4,000 college students and community volunteers through its offices in New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, is looking to reach more children by replicating its program model.

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