Celebrities Partner with Kids to Set Reading Record

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COLUMBIA - Columbia Jumpstart hosted its eighth annual Read for the Record event Thursday at Eugene Field Elementary School. Adults and children attempted to set a record for the largest shared reading experience in order to highlight the need for quality early education in America. 

Participating Title-I preschools and community child care centers participated in this years event. Local celebrities joined the children to read the book Otis, by Loren Long, which is the book for the year. Some of the local celebrities included State Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, Miss Boone County Maikieta Brantley, University of Missouri athletes, firefighters, and Columbia police officers. 

Jumpstart is a national early education organization, which attempts to help every child in America enter kindergarten prepared to succeed. 

Martina Hoyt-Vail, Jumpstart Site Manager, said the event helps with early education. 

"Reading to any child can help with their language and literacy skills and help prepare them for kindergarten," Hoyt-Vail said. "This is really an event to provide some awareness for early childhood education and the importance of that in our own country."

About 200 children attended this years Read for the Record. Jumpstart said the event has broken the record the past seven years.