Westmoreland County students Read for the Record

Today, more than three dozen Westmoreland County classrooms will join millions of others around the region and the nation in celebrating early literacy, as part of the national Read for the Record event.

Six hundred preschool and kindergarten students across the Alle-Kiski Valley will read “Maybe Something Beautiful” by Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell. Their readings will correspond with millions of others taking place across the country in classrooms, libraries, community centers and homes.

The coordinated read-along is an advocacy effort of Jumpstart, a national early education organization, which highlights the importance of building early literacy and language skills for all children.

Jumpstart’s local Pittsburgh branch and the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania coordinated activities in Westmoreland and Allegheny Counties. In addition to scheduling today’s classroom readings, they hosted kick-off events at several preschools earlier this month. United Way also donated a copy of this year’s book to each participating student.

“We’re excited to partner with Jumpstart to bring such an impactful event to our local community,” said United Way’s Westmoreland region community impact director Jesse Sprajcar. “It makes a fun and exciting experience for the kids, one that gets them excited about reading and learning.”

On October 5, October 12 and October 19, over twenty student volunteers from the University of Pittsburgh visited students at the Valley Points YMCA preschool, All Kids are Special preschool, Seton Hill Child Services preschool, Appleseed Learning Centers, Small World Childcare, Grandma’s House Childcare, Jenn’s Playcare and Westmoreland Community Action preschool classes. Volunteers read to students and helped them complete a craft project.

This is the second year United Way has partnered with Jumpstart to bring Read for the Record programming to Westmoreland County.

Last year, Read of the Record included participants from all 50 states and over 1,000 U.S. school districts. The event distributed 135,000 books to kids and generated 3.8 million impressions on social media.