Read for the Record

Jumpstart's Read for the Record is an international campaign to bring preschool children together with valued grownups in their lives to read the same book, on the same day, in communities all over the world.


Celebrate literacy and support Jumpstart in its efforts to promote early childhood education! On October 3rd, more than 2.3 million children across the country will read the children's book Otis, by Loren Long, in support of Jumpstart's mission to work towards the day that every child in America enters school prepared to succeed.

Reading Rockets is pleased to be an active partner in promoting Read for the Record, the community literacy initiative sponsored by Jumpstart in partnership with the Pearson Foundation.

Jumpstart Pearson logos

Jump in and get involved


Visit the Read for the Record website to learn about Jumpstart's work with children and find out about this year's campaign. Learn more >

Pledge to read

Pledge your time to share this wonderful story with a child in your life, and together we'll set a new record for the world's largest shared reading experience. Pledge to read and you'll also receive updates about new activities, programs, and our special campaign book. Pledge to read >

Spread the word

Add a snappy Read for the Record-focused signature to your e-mail. Here's a basic example: [Your organization] is proud to participate in Jumpstart's Read for the Record campaign.

2013 Book: Otis


The story

Published by Penguin and written by New York Times bestselling author Loren Long, Otis is the timeless story of a friendship between a lovable tractor and a calf that live on a farm. Otis is replaced by a new tractor and learns the meaning of perseverance and true friendship when the calf needs his help.

Free online version

Once again this year, We Give Books is making it possible for everyone around the world to read Otis online for free. When you read the book online, you will be helping Jumpstart build reading libraries in pre-school classrooms across America, through a special We Give Books campaign. The goal is to donate more than 100,000 children's books!

Jumpstart's Otis Storytelling Activity Kit

Created by Jumpstart's early childhood education experts, the kit allows you to further engage in the story, and bring the characters into your living room or classroom with a felt storyboard. A portion of your purchase also serves as a donation to Jumpstart, supporting our important work with preschool children in low-income communities across the country. You are also able to donate a book to a child in a Jumpstart classroom! Get your kit >

Penguin Storytime

Watch Penguin Storytime host Liz Shanks as she reads Otis to a group of students from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Elementary School at Acorns Bookshop in Tenafly, New Jersey. A discussion of the book and downloadable songs are also included. Watch video >

Official Loren Long website

Learn more about author and illustrator Loren Long, see some unpublished Otis drawings, download this Otis activity sheet and more. Visit website >

Literacy activities from Reading Rockets

Reading adventure pack: Farms

Reading Adventure Pack: Farms

Go on a "farming" reading adventure! This Reading Rockets reading adventure pack is designed to encourage hands-on fun and learning centered around paired fiction and nonfiction books.

Tips on reading aloud

Reading aloud with a child is a joyful experience and also a wonderful opportunity to help children build vocabulary, background knowledge, and comprehension skills. It should include lots of two-way conversation about what's happening as the story unfolds. Learn more about how to have a great read aloud experience in these Reading Rockets articles:

Starting young

Learn more about why it's so important to read aloud to kids, starting at a very young age, in this video clip from our show Toddling Toward Reading.

Children's authors read aloud

Some of our favorite poets and authors — Jarrett Krosoczka, J. Patrick Lewis, Julianne Moore, Mem Fox, Ashley Bryan, Patricia McKissack, Laura Vaccaro Seeger, Julie Andrews, and others — read aloud from their own stories. Everyone brings their own style to read alouds and that's what makes them so much fun for kids.

About Jumpstart and the Pearson Foundation


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. Through a proven curriculum, these children develop the language and literacy skills they need to be ready for kindergarten, setting them on a path for lifelong success. Jumpstart is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network.

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.

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"To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark." — Victor Hugo, Les Miserables