Summit School in Ahwatukee recently participated in Jumpstart’s 14th annual Read for the Record campaign.
“Read for the Record” is a global effort to raise awareness about the importance of building early literacy and language skills for EVERY child so all children have the opportunity to enter kindergarten prepared to succeed.
“During Read for the Record, adults celebrate the transformative power of books by reading to children in their communities,” Summit spokeswoman Sara Chambers said, adding:
“This act creates a positive association with reading and learning and highlights the social-emotional benefits that occur from one-to-one reading. Collectively, participants attempt to beat the world record for the most people reading the same book at the same time.”
Sharing high-quality picture books with young children is at the core of Jumpstart’s mission. It selects a campaign book fostering language and social-emotional development, honors diversity and has a strong story appealing to young children.
This year’s book was “Thank You, Omu,” about a generous woman who makes a fantastic pot of thick red stew. The scent from her stew travels all throughout her neighborhood and brings all of her community members over to her home for a taste. By the end, she shares a feast with her neighbors where everyone contributes to the meal.
As this year’s book focuses on community and giving back, Summit hosted community members as guest speakers.
They included: Rachel McCabe, Summit parent, and actress from Childsplay; Melissa Risher, owner of Crumbl in Ahwatukee who also supplied cookies; Claire Shoenharts, a professor emeritus of Northern Arizona University College of Education; Rusty Brand of StrongMind and Marilee DelPra, CEO of First Things First.
“Our children took such delight in hearing this beautiful story being read by members of our larger Summit community. They shared insights, asked and answered questions and welcomed our guests with warmth and kindness,” said Andrea Benkel, Summit’s assistant head of school.
Summit has participated in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record since its inception. Ruth Strubank was instrumental in starting Read for the Record many years ago as the first preschool director of Summit, then called Tesseract.