Oct. 10, 2006
By Colleen Romito
Ohio University Zanesville's Jumpstart joined more than 1200 other Read for the Record events in an attempt to set the world record for the number of children and adults reading the same book in a single day.
With the help of the John McIntire Library, Headstart and several American Eagle volunteers, the Jumpstart program helped with story time and coordinated crafts for local children.
The nationwide program encouraged reading "The Little Engine That Could" to as many children as possible in a one-day period. Ohio University alumnus Matt Lauer read the book on "The Today Show" to begin the nationwide event. Nationally, more than 150,000 children were read to during the event, with the final numbers still coming in, according the Read for the Record Web site.
"We love to do things in the community, especially when there is a national tie," said Danny Maxwell of WHIZ.
NBC ran a week-long series promoting the Read for the Record event, with "Today Show" host Lauer and other national celebrities reading to children on national television.
The event, in its first year, exceeded the expectations of Jumpstart, said Ohio University-Zanesville Site Manager, Colleen Romito.
"We're the smallest site in the nation, but the national Jumpstart organization is blown away by the community spirit that makes events like this come together," said Romito. "Our local event was great thanks to all the partners."
The Muskingum County Library and the efforts of American Eagle volunteers Sarah Gibson, Ted Gavarkavich and Niki Crippen as well as the support of Headstart helped ensure that Ohio University-Zanesville's Jumpstart program was well-represented in the national effort.
"This is a great way to get the word out about family opportunities to read," said Teresa Crumbaker of Headstart.
"We are blessed to have Jumpstart in this little town," said Julie McLain, also of Headstart.
When Danny Maxwell was in 7th grade, he participated in a mentoring program where he read to kindergartner Mike Emmert. Now Mike is a reading mentor as a Jumpstart volunteer.
"Wow, I can't believe he's doing the reading thing now," said Maxwell when he saw Emmert at the local event.
It doesn't take an expert to see that reading touches lives, no matter how big or small your town is.
Colleen Romito is the site manager with Ohio University-Zanesville Jumpstart.