American Airlines and Educational First Steps Bring Jumpstart's 'Read for the Record' Campaign to Dallas
American Airlines surprised some passengers departing Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) this morning with a special edition of the classic children's story, "Corduroy," waiting for them in select seatback pockets.
The goal is to encourage adults and children alike to participate in Jumpstart's Read for the Record campaign. Jumpstart's Read for the Record aims to break the world record for the most people reading the same book on the same day.
Jumpstart, an organization whose mission is to ensure that every child in America enters school ready to succeed, created "Read for the Record" to bring national attention to the importance of preparing children to read at an early age. Educational First Steps (EFS), a Dallas-based non-profit dedicated to improving the availability of early childhood education to disadvantaged children, partnered with Jumpstart to bring the campaign to Dallas.
The Pearson Foundation donated copies of the official campaign book, "Corduroy," to children and adults in the Dallas area. American Airlines placed 5,000 of the books in the seatback pockets of 25 American Airlines and 15 American Eagle planes this morning as flights prepared to depart DFW for destinations across American's extensive global network. American Airlines and American Eagle flight attendants made special announcements to encourage customers to pick up the book and read it.
"The education of future generations is incredibly important, and we're delighted to give our customers of all ages the opportunity to participate in this very worthwhile campaign," said Roger Frizzell, American's Vice President - Corporate Communications and Advertising. "We're grateful for organizations like Educational First Steps and Jumpstart, and the impact they have on our communities."
"Read for the Record" kicked off this morning in New York City with a reading of the story on NBC's "Today Show," with Matt Lauer and Jumpstart spokesman LL Cool J. Throughout the day, Jumpstart and other partners are hosting readings in cities all over America. In Dallas, EFS plans a launch party and reading at Central Square Park, with a reading of "Corduroy" to hundreds of children.
"Educational First Steps is thrilled to partner with Jumpstart to host the Dallas launch of 'Read for the Record,'" said Merriott J. Terry, President and CEO of Educational First Steps. "Our collaboration with American Airlines to get 5,000 books into the hands of passengers headed all over the country, and possibly the world, is particularly exciting."
Terry said approximately 3,000 books have been distributed among EFS's 70 child care centers in Dallas. After reading the story to their classes, teachers will send their numbers to EFS, to be counted by Jumpstart toward the record. The world record was set by last year's "Read for the Record" campaign, in which more than 250,000 children and adults participated. Pearson Publishing donated 150,000 "Corduroy" books to Jumpstart for this year's program.
About American Airlines
American Airlines, American Eagle and the AmericanConnection® airlines serve 250 cities in 40 countries with more than 4,000 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 1,000 aircraft. American's award-winning Web site, AA.com, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld® Alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members serve nearly 700 destinations in over 140 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. American Airlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection, AA.com, We know why you fly and AAdvantage are registered trademarks of American Airlines, Inc.
Jumpstart is a national early education organization that works toward the day every child in America enters school prepared to succeed. Through extraordinary attention in yearlong one-to-one relationships, Jumpstart inspires children to learn, adults to teach, families to get involved, and communities to progress together. Headquartered in Boston, Jumpstart pairs 4,000 trained adults one-to-one with preschool children in need of assistance. During the 2008-2009 program year, Jumpstart is serving 15,000 children across 20 states, in partnership with 300 early learning centers and nearly 74 universities and colleges throughout the country.
Jumpstart's national sponsors include American Eagle Outfitters, AmeriCorps, Pearson, Sodexo and Starbucks. Jumpstart is the recipient of the Fast Company/Monitor Social Capitalist Award (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008) and the Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy's Directors Award. For more information, visit the Jumpstart Web site at http://www.jstart.org.
About Educational First Steps
Founded in 1990 by David Munson, Sandra Estess, Joyce Wright & Linus Wright, EFS has more than 18 years experience executing its mission to improve the quality and availability of early childhood education for economically disadvantaged children. EFS programs prepare children from low-income families to "thrive instead of survive" when they enter school. EFS serves more than 4000 low income children in its 68 childcare centers in the metroplex. As of 2008, 20 affiliate centers are accredited by NAEYC and NAC, which are the 'gold-star' measures for early childhood education in the USA. For more information on EFS and its programs, contact Merriott J. Terry at 214-824-7940 or visit http://www.educationalfirststeps.org.
About the Pearson Foundation
The Pearson Foundation extends Pearson's commitment to education by partnering with leading nonprofit, civic, and business organizations to provide financial, organizational, and publishing assistance across the globe. The Foundation aims to make a difference by sponsoring innovative educational programs and extending its educational expertise to help in classrooms and in local communities. More information on the Pearson Foundation can be found at http://www.pearsonfoundation.org.
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