Students Help Set World Reading Record


Students in the Jumpstart Boston program at Suffolk University joined the nationwide campaign Read for the Record to set a new world record for the largest shared reading experience between children and adults on a single day.

Presented in partnership with the Pearson Foundation, Jumpstart’s fifth annual Read for the Record campaign focuses attention on the growing crisis in early childhood education. This year’s goal is to reach 2.5 million children.

Suffolk University site managers and students teamed up with corporate sponsor Staples to read to preschoolers at the Southern Middlesex Opportunity Council in Framingham, and joined the Boston law firm of Seyfarth Shaw, also a corporate sponsor, for a reading event at the SMILE Preschool in Roxbury. This year’s book was The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.

Jumpstart is a national, non-profit organization that recruits and trains thousands of college students and community volunteers to work with children in low income communities, helping preschool children develop the language, literacy and social skills they need to succeed in school and in life.

In 2001 Suffolk’s Organization for Uplifting Lives through Service (S.O.U.L.S.) partnered with Jumpstart and had 20 student volunteers. Today, that number has grown to 64 with each student contributing at least 300 hours during the academic year.

“We recruit, train and manage the students,” said Kelly Furtado, senior site manager for Jumpstart Boston at Suffolk University. “The benefits for them are two-fold: they make valuable contributions to the community of Boston, and they develop professional skills that will be beneficial regardless of whether they decide to pursue teaching as a career.”

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