Preschoolers get jumpstart

Hugging plush teddy bears tight, students in Terri Howell’s Pre-K class at Vincent Elementary School listened eyes wide as State Board of Education member Stephanie Bell read the book “Corduroy” to them last week.

“Boys and girls all over America are having this book read to them,” Bell said.

Bell was one of several education officials traveling the state to participate in the Jumpstart Read for the Record program at various preschool sites.

Jumpstart is a national campaign to encourage children and adults to read the same book on the same day. The program set records for the largest shared reading experience in 2006 and 2007.

“Books are so important. You know what you can do with books,” Bell asked the students. “You can make new friends and learn about countries all over the world.”

The program hopes the coordinated effort will promote the importance of every child in America being prepared for success in school.