“Jumpstart, which is a program that promotes literacy, has everyone around the world that participates read the same book on the same day,” said Suzanne Wood, associate professor and early childhood education program director at CSCC. “Last year, there were like 2.2 million children who heard the same book. It was ‘Llama Llama Red Pajama.’ They pick out a different book each year.”
A section of Cleveland State’s library was morphed into a children’s creative station for the event. Six tables punctuated by a reading center held different goodies and activities for children to enjoy.
Freshman Brianna Hyatt said the Early Childhood Education club worked hard for weeks to complete the program. They took ideas from Jumpstart’s Read for the Record website, as well as, thinking up their own activities.
“I think the kids love it. They are having a lot of fun,” Hyatt said, while decked out in a long red shirt that reads, ‘Read for the Record.’ “And I am having a lot of fun as well.”
Bumblebee Boy, also known as Ian Ormsby, wandered over while Hyatt manned the cupcake station. His final sugary creation included a chocolate icing cupcake with sprinkles and two gummy worms. Ian’s outfit was complete with a bumblebee headband, antennaes and a red cape with blue trim. When asked if he could fly he smiled.
“Yeah,” Ian said. “... but not really.”
Ladybug Girl made an appearance to the event, as well. Five-year-old Alyssa Stanfield carefully studied the six different stations: cupcakes, snacks that look like ladybugs, paper puppets, drawing, antennaes, and rock painting. She decided on the rock painting.
Club members of ECED walked around the room to help children with the various activities. Ruth Ben-Judah began the event by manning the story booth corner. The Sheppard children completed several activities before making their way over to the story corner. Amariah, Jeremiah, Josiah, and Alexandria curled up around their mother, Erica, while Ben-Judah read.
Every child who listened to the story was given a free Kona Ice and a “I broke a world record” certificate.
“We want to promote literacy. We know children who are read to early and often become the best readers and writers,” Wood said. “It has born out in research. The earlier a child is read to, the better they are at reading and writing.”
Carl Hite, CSCC president, showed up to talk with the children and check out the activities.
“If they can read, then they have the world before them and they can be successful,” Hite said. “The more activities like this the better...The more we can get our students involved in the community the better. Suzanne Wood and Margaret [Horton] have done a great job putting together this initiative.”
Wood said she would place the final number of children who heard the story in the database Friday afternoon. She also said she was proud of the members of the club who had worked hard to create the successful event.