Oregon Connections Academy hosts Read for the Record campaign

Roseburg News Review
Vera Westbrook
October 23, 2015

In a reading event Thursday hosted by Oregon Connections Academy, children from preschool to high school participated in the 10th annual Read for the Record global campaign held at Douglas County Library. 

The Read for the Record campaign is facilitated by Jumpstart, an early education organization that promotes literacy by attempting to break the world record for the most people reading the same book on the same day around the globe. 

In 2013, the Read for the Record campaign set a new world record with 2,462,860 participants who read “Otis” by Loren Long as part of the world’s largest shared reading experience, according to the jstart.org website. 

On Thursday, reading groups in communities across the nation read in person or through virtual reading sessions, then submitted the number of participants by registering with Jumpstart online. 

ORCA, an online K-12 public school, hosted in-person reading events for its students at public libraries in 10 communities around the state. Teachers also planned a live, interactive virtual reading session for students to attend from any Internet connection. 

“They say in the early grades you learn to read, and from there you read to learn,” said ORCA kindergarten and first grade teacher Jason Webber, who organized this year’s Read for the Record event in Oregon. “Encouraging our students to get excited about reading will give them a boost in all their other academic subjects.” 

The reading campaign this year featured the illustrated book “Not Norman: A Goldfish Story” by Kelly Bennett for grades K-2. Readers could read from the hardbound copy or they could download the book from the Jumpstart website for free. The book may be for young ones, but people of all ages enjoyed it as well. 

ORCA English instructor April Bauguess from Roseburg read the book to a small group of students, parents, ORCA teachers and their guests, who met in the library’s Ford Community Room. 

“We get together, read a picture book and discuss it,” Bauguess said. “We talk about what it means and the lessons to learn,” which on this day focused on friendship. 

While reading, Bauguess engaged children by asking questions and looking for responses. She also read from two other illustrated books: “You Will Be My Friend!” by Peter Brown and “Bad Apple” by Edward Hemingway. 

Although a 10th-grade teacher, Bauguess enjoys reading to younger students in the Jumpstart program because doing so promotes literacy. 

“The more students read, the more successful they are going to be in school, which changes their future potentially,” she said. “So it’s really important for students to get involved in language-acquisition activities like reading.” 

Kristine Chandler, a Myrtle Creek mother of two ORCA students in first and fifth grades who brought six children to the reading event, said she attended the Read for the Record campaign at the library to spark an interest for reading in younger kids. 

Although Chandler and the children could have read the book online, she said, “We figured we could come together and actually interest the little ones, too, so I could bring everyone from age 1 to age 10, and have them all enjoy the book.