October 4, 2012
Dr. James Birge, president of Franklin Pierce University, participated in the national Jumpstart’s Read for the Record campaign on October 4 by reading to children at the Dublin Consolidated School. Read for the Record is part of a national effort to close the early education achievement gap by demonstrating to students the importance of reading; studies show that a child growing up surrounded by books has a greater chance of attending college as an adult.
The Read for the Record campaign encouraged presidents of colleges and universities across the country to read the same book on the same day to young children, who would then get to take the book home as well. The selected book was The New York Times bestselling children’s book, Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad, by David Soman and Jacky Davis. Dr. Birge read to the first grade class at the Dublin elementary school, an attentive group of children who eagerly told him all of their favorite parts of the story after he had finished reading it. Then, each student was presented with their own copy of the book by Dr. Birge.
“I love reading to children,” Dr. Birge remarked, “and I miss reading to my own kids! I am grateful I was given the opportunity to read to these first graders. One of the reasons I have an undergraduate degree in early childhood is because I believe in the importance of being an early reader, and I wanted to be able to influence children in that respect.”
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