When William Smith Dean Debra DeMeis read “The Story of Ferdinand,” by Munro Leaf, illustrated by Robert Lawson, to students at West Street Elementary School on Thursday, Sept. 20, she was helping set a record.
Jumpstart's national Read for the Record effort recorded nearly 2,000 events across 49 states, raised more than $1 million, and received significant coverage throughout the morning on NBC’s “Today” show.
The HWS-Jumpstart Geneva effort was coordinated by the Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning.
Among the hundreds of thousands reading across the nation were first lady Laura Bush, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, actresses Mariska Hargitay and Gabrielle Union, Grammy Award-winners LL Cool J and Wyclef Jean, best-selling author Frank McCourt, and several Members of Congress.
The money was raised through donations and sales of a special-edition of the campaign book, with proceeds going directly to Jumpstart to support its early education programs for at-risk children in communities across the nation. Another 100,000 copies of the official campaign book were donated to children living in low-income communities.
Coverage of the event on the Today show is available here.