Growing up, our parents read to us every night before bed, and some of the best moments from my childhood revolve around being snuggled up with my mom and my siblings. Each night, we would pile into the bed in the guest room / home office, and mom would read to us from some of the great classics of our youth.
Our parents didn't believe in sheltering us from real life, and because of this, mom read us many books that were beyond our level of understanding. However, it is because of this, that we are such avid readers today.
I still remember the night she was reading from Bambi: A Life in the Woods, by Felix Salten. As she read about Bambi's mother being shot, we somberly made the connection that the deer pelt that hung from our father's office chair came from Bambi's mom. With tears in our eyes, we climbed down from the bed, and went over to inspect the pelt. Our little minds raced - and came to an abrupt stop when we found the bullet hole...
This story ends with my father running into the room upon hearing our sobs, and after seeing his children crying about the fact that he killed Bambi's mom, he vowed to never hunt again. He, too, believed in telling the truth, and did not try to hide the fact that he did indeed hunt and kill a deer, but he also told us that it was one of the most awful things he had ever done. And with his promise, we all snuggled together as a family and read a few more pages together.
This memory, although half-sad (Dad killed a deer), and half-good (Dad took up skeet-shooting instead), remains firmly implanted in our minds as a solid family moment for us. But, if we had never read Bambi: A Life in the Woods, we would have missed out on it entriely.
My point is:
Books can, and often do, change lives...
...which is why we wanted to let you know about Jumpstart’s Read for the Record campaign.
"On October 6, millions of people across the globe will read the same book, Llama Llama Red Pajama, as part of Jumpstart’s Read for the Record campaign. For the past five years, Jumpstart, a national education organization, has hosted this global event, bringing people together to help bridge America’s achievement gap.
Hundreds of reading events and “pajama parties” will be taking place all across the country, and you and your loved ones can join in the fun! By pledging to read at www.readfortherecord.org, you can help Jumpstart’s Read for the Record set a new world record of 2.1 million readers.
So this week, change a life, and pledge to read Llama Llama Red Pajama with your loved ones on Thursday, October 6th.
Thanks for reading,
Jumpstart is a national early education organization that recruits and trains college students and community volunteers to work with preschool children in low-income neighborhoods. Through a proven curriculum, these children develop the language and literacy skills they need to be ready for school, setting them on a path to close the achievement gap. Join us to work toward the day every child in America enters school prepared to succeed. Learn more about Jumpstart.
*Great Books Week is held annually during the first full week in October.
**Banned Books Week is held annually during the last week of September.