Record-Setting Reading Campaign Kicks off Nationwide
-- Custom Limited Edition of "The Little Engine That Could" Now Available at Starbucks U.S. Stores; Sparks Matt Lauer and Thousands across the Country to Read for the Record with Jumpstart and Its Partners
“This is not just a shared reading experience, but an echoing statement by thousands of Americans about what is positive and possible.”
Many of us remember the classic story of "The Little Engine That Could" from childhood; it is likely one of the first books that helped us learn to read. Beginning today through August 28, Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) stores across the country will offer a custom limited edition version of this classic tale in preparation for the largest shared-reading experience ever, as part of Jumpstart's Read for the Record Campaign. The goal of the Campaign is to connect adults to the powerful learning relationships that all children need before they enter kindergarten by raising awareness about the early education crisis, providing effective tools to address this crisis, and engaging Americans in the early learning experiences that put children on a course for success in school and life.
In addition to visiting your local Starbucks to support the Campaign by purchasing the limited edition book (by Watty Piper, illustrated by Loren Long), which was custom-published and underwritten by Pearson, individuals are encouraged to participate by registering on Jumpstart's Read for the Record website (www.readfortherecord.org) and reading "The Little Engine That Could" to children on August 24, 2006 -- in your own home, at a local library, in a Starbucks store, or at an organized reading event in your local community.
Other supporters of the Campaign include Mrs. Laura Bush, Honorary Chairperson, as well as "Today" show host, Matt Lauer, who will broadcast live from Rockefeller Plaza on August 24, as he reads "The Little Engine That Could" and champions the importance of quality early education for all children in this country.
Matt Lauer commented: "One of the greatest pleasures in my life is reading with my children, Jack and Romy. When I watch them as we read, I find myself energized by their hunger to discover new things and humbled that I can participate in the intimate experience of seeing them grow and learn before my very eyes. This is the interaction between children and adults that is at the heart of Jumpstart's Read for the Record."
Since 1993, Jumpstart has been bringing at-risk preschool children and caring adults together in intensive, year-long learning relationships to build the vital literacy, social, and emotional skills children need to thrive. Working toward the day when every child in America enters school prepared to succeed, Jumpstart is supported by several corporate sponsors, including Starbucks, Pearson, and American Eagle Outfitters, who each play a critical role in the success of Jumpstart's Read for the Record Campaign.
As part of their contributions, the official Campaign edition of "The Little Engine That Could" was custom published (to include reading tips from Jumpstart) by Penguin Young Readers, a division of Pearson (Pearson also underwrote all publishing costs). Starbucks will exclusively retail the book in more than 5,000 Starbucks stores August 1 - 28 (while supplies last), with 100% of the $9.95 purchase price going directly to support Jumpstart's work with at-risk children. American Eagle Outfitters will also be organizing readings and has produced the official Campaign t-shirt.
"This program has the potential to resonate in communities all over the country, especially those in dire need of quality early education resources," said Rob Zeaske, Vice President of Jumpstart. "This is not just a shared reading experience, but an echoing statement by thousands of Americans about what is positive and possible."
Similar to New York's Rockefeller Plaza event, Jumpstart and its partners will host special reading events in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. on August 24. Information about these events and other local activities can be found at www.readfortherecord.org. Jumpstart's Read for the Record website also provides the possibility to purchase "The Little Engine That Could" for an at-risk child who may have very few books at home.
"This is an opportunity for us to show Starbucks commitment to positive community development, not only today but for future generations," said Jim Alling, president, Starbucks U.S. and Jumpstart Board Member. "Starbucks is proud to shine the spotlight on Jumpstart's straightforward solution to the early education problem through Read for the Record."
Jumpstart's Read for the Record was developed because of a striking disparity in early education resources. Bill Barke, President of Pearson Addison Wesley Higher Education and Jumpstart Board Member, said, "While many children benefit from nearly 2,000 hours of reading with an adult by kindergarten, others are exposed to as few as 25 hours (in total). Research shows that such early deficits lead to a performance gap that persists throughout school and into adulthood, contributing to additional social issues, such as dropping out of school, unemployment and crime. By bringing national attention to this issue, we look forward to taking some big strides toward remedying this entirely solvable problem."
Participate in Jumpstart's Read for the Record event on August 24 and make a difference in a young child's life -- set them on a path for success during school ... and life. Visit www.readfortherecord.org for more information.
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 2,500 trained adults one-to-one with preschool children in need of assistance. During the 2005-2006 program year, Jumpstart served 10,000 children in 60 communities across 22 states, in partnership with 225 Head Start and other early learning centers across the country. Jumpstart's national sponsors include American Eagle Outfitters, AmeriCorps, Pearson, and Starbucks. Jumpstart is the recipient of the Fast Company/Monitor Social Capitalist Award (2004, 2005 and 2006) and the Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy's Directors Award. For more information, visit the Jumpstart Web site at www.jstart.org. For more information about Jumpstart's Read for the Record campaign, visit www.readfortherecord.org.
Starbucks Coffee Company
Through the dedication of our passionate partners (employees), Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ:SBUX) has transformed the way people in 37 countries enjoy their coffee, one cup at a time. Starbucks is the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world, with more than 11,500 retail locations in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim. The Company is committed to offering its customers the highest quality coffee and human connection through the Starbucks Experience, while striving to improve the social, environmental and economic well being of its partners, coffee farmers, countries of coffee origin, and the communities which it serves. Through Ethos Water, Starbucks demonstrates its long history of integrating a social conscience into all aspects of its business. The Company surprises and delights its customers by producing and selling bottled Starbucks Frappuccino(R) coffee drinks, Starbucks DoubleShot(R) espresso drink and Starbucks(R) superpremium ice creams through its joint venture partnerships, and Starbucks(TM) Coffee and Cream Liqueurs through a marketing and distribution agreement, in other convenient locations outside its retail operations. The Company's brand portfolio includes superpremium Tazo(R) teas, Starbucks Hear Music(TM) compact discs, Seattle's Best Coffee and Torrefazione Italia. These brands' unique and innovative personalities allow Starbucks to appeal to a broad consumer base.
Starbucks (through The Starbucks Foundation) has proudly supported Jumpstart's efforts since 2001, acting as the organization's National Sponsor. Starbucks provides critical funding to continue Jumpstart's work with preschoolers, families and college students as well as fund expansion in new communities.
Pearson plc (NYSE:PSO) is an international media company. Its major business operations are: The Financial Times Group, which has an international network of business and financial newspapers and online services that are read by millions of business executives and investors every day; Pearson Education, the world's leading education business, which helps teachers teach and students learn at every stage and in every part of the world; and Penguin Group, which is one of the pre-eminent names in consumer publishing, with an unrivalled range of fiction and non-fiction, bestsellers, and classic titles. For more information go to http://www.pearson.com.
American Eagle Outfitters
American Eagle Outfitters (NASDAQ:AEOS), headquartered in Pennsylvania, is a leading lifestyle retailer that designs, markets, and sells its own brand of relaxed, casual clothing for 15 to 25 year olds, providing high-quality merchandise at affordable prices. AE's collection includes modern basics like jeans, cargo pants and graphic Ts as well as a stylish assortment of cool accessories, outerwear and footwear. American Eagle Outfitters currently operates 783 AE stores in 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and 71 AE stores in Canada. AE also operates via its web business, www.ae.com, which offers additional sizes and styles of favorite AE merchandise. American Eagle was Jumpstart's first corporate sponsor and has been supporting the organization since 1997.