NEWS RELEASES 2010-11 :: OCTOBER 7, 2010


Even though it's early October, some students in North Carolina are already thinking about snow. In celebration of Jumpstart's "Read for the Record" campaign, State Superintendent June Atkinson today joined teachers, parents, community members and millions of students in other states and countries in reading "The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats in an effort to break the world record for the number of children and adults reading the same book aloud together. Atkinson participated in the campaign by reading to 175 kindergartners and first graders at Washington GT Magnet Elementary School in Raleigh.

"Reading is a foundational skill all students must have to be successful in school and to graduate prepared for a bright future," said Atkinson. "Encouraging children to read is something we must do early and often if we are going to strengthen their literacy skills and increase student achievement."

The "Read for the Record" campaign began in 2006 and over the past five years, adults and children have read "The Little Engine That Could" (2006), "The Story of Ferdinand" (2007), and "Corduroy" (2008). In 2009, a little more than two million children broke a world record by reading aloud "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." This year, Jumpstart has set a goal of 2.5 million children to participate in the campaign worldwide. For more information about "Read for the Record," visit

Atkinson also has worked this year to promote summer reading. In June she launched the "READ NC" campaign to help educators, parents and librarians use Lexile measures that enable students to find books matched to their reading comprehension level. As part of the campaign, NCDPI staff developed a new Web page,, which features Lexile resources.

In honor of National Literacy Month in September, Atkinson reminded superintendents, principals and teachers about the "READ NC" resources and coordinated a department-wide book drive. Donated books will soon be shared with students in Communities In Schools chapters that conduct afterschool programs.

For more information about these literacy initiatives, contact NCDPI Communications at 919.807.3450.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.