Media Advisory / Photo Opportunity

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - October 28, 2016                                                                                       Contact:  Ellen M. Ganley, Director of Development  508 762-9807 
Head Start welcomes community reps to Read for the Record 
Event highlights importance of early education & literacy

WCAC Head Start program welcomed thirteen guest readers for the 2016 Read for the Record event.
 Southbridge, Massachusetts - On Thursday, October 27, 2016, Worcester Community Action Council's Head Start program participated in the  11th anniversary of Jumpstart's Read for the Record, a national campaign that helps address the educational inequities that leave too many children unprepared for kindergarten. This year's official campaign book, The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers), was selected to not only inspire adults to read with children, but also spur policymakers and organizations to take action towards transformative change in early education while putting books in the hands of more children across the country. 

Southbridge Credit Union last week presented WCAC with a check for $1,000 to support the Read for the Record event. The generous sponsorship enabled Worcester Community Action Council's Head Start program to purchase 210 copies of the book so that each Head Start preschool student was able to take a copy home to keep, while maintaining several copies in the program's lending library for families to enjoy for years to come. 

Webster Public Schools Adult Basic Education & WCAC Board Member Leslie Baker enjoys time with a Head Start classroom.
WCAC welcomed thirteen 'celebrity' readers to its classrooms to participate in this important literacy event. Participating readers included: , State Representative Joseph McKenna, Ann Gaudreau from State Representative Peter Durant's Office, Webster Public Schools Interim Superintendent Richard Lind, United Way of Southbridge, Sturbridge & Charlton Executive Director Mary O'Coin, AJ Alkire of Point Breeze Restaurant, Leslie Baker of Webster Adult Basic Education and WCAC's Board of Directors, WCAC Executive Director Jill Dagilis, John Brennan and Renee Stroiney of MAPFRE Insurance, Yolanda Alvarado and Colleen Lynch of Southbridge Credit Union and Christina Rios and Alyssa Jacques of Southbridge Savings Bank.

Since 2006, Jumpstart's Read for the Record 24-hour celebration has mobilized over 17 million people, and Jumpstart holds the world reading record for the most people reading the same book on the same day. WCAC's Head Start program added 263 to the 2016 tally (final count for which anticipated on/about November 7th).
About WCAC
For more than fifty years, the Worcester Community Action Council has served as the federally designated anti-poverty agency for central and southern Worcester County, with a mission of helping people move to economic self-sufficiency through programs, partnerships and advocacy.

Serving the City of Worcester and 45 neighboring communities of Auburn, Blackstone, Boylston, Brimfield, Brookfield, Charlton, Clinton, Douglas, Dudley, East Brookfield, Hardwick, Holden, Holland, Hopedale, Hubbardston, Grafton, Leicester, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Monson, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Northborough, Northbridge, Palmer, Oakham, Oxford, Paxton, Rutland, Shrewsbury, Southbridge, Spencer, Sterling, Sturbridge, Sutton, Upton, Uxbridge, Wales, Warren, Webster, West Boylston, West Brookfield and Westborough.  
Jumpstart is a national early education organization working toward the day every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. By participating in Jumpstart's year-long program, children develop the language, literacy, and social-emotional skills they need to be ready for school, setting them on a path for lifelong success. Since 1993, Jumpstart has trained 45,000 college students and community volunteers to transform the lives of 95,000 preschool children nationwide. 
Julia Sarcone-Roach's The Bear Ate Your Sandwich is the tale of a bear, lost in the city, who happens upon an unattended sandwich in the park. The bear's journey from forest to city and back home again is full of happy accidents, funny encounters, and sensory delights. The story is so engrossing, that you will not see the surprise ending coming!

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