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UK Helps Lexington Children Jumpstart Reading Skills

Media Contacts:

Brad Duncan, (859) 257-4014

Katy Bennett, (859) 257-1754, x255


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 2, 2008) − In an effort to assist children in gaining the language and literacy skills they need when they enter kindergarten, the University of Kentucky Jumpstart program is taking part in the national Jumpstart Read for the Record Campaign today.

The 2008 Jumpstart Read for the Record campaign is attempting to create the largest shared reading experience when young and old alike read the beloved children’s classic “Corduroy.” The previous record was set during last year’s campaign on Sept. 20, 2007, when 258,000 people across the country read the same book. Not only was the record set in 2007, more than $1 million was raised to finance the organization’s early childhood work in low-income communities.

“We’re excited about this opportunity to demonstrate that reading makes a difference in the lives of children and to model the power and pleasure of reading,” said Katherine McCormick, associate professor in the College of Education.

The Jumpstart program recruits and trains adults to provide early education programs to children in a setting where they receive individual attention. Jumpstart Corps members work with preschool children from low-income backgrounds on language, literacy, social and initiative skills. Led by co-principal investigators McCormick and Sharon Stewart, associate dean for academic affairs in the UK College of Health Sciences, UK Jumpstart partners with the Head Start program and the Fayette County Public Schools Early Start program to make a difference in the Lexington community.

UK’s Jumpstart Read for the Record effort includes a number of events across Lexington, including UK Provost Kumble R. Subbaswamy reading to the students at the UK College of Education’s Early Childhood Lab this morning.

“The Provost’s participation in this campus and community partnership is a perfect example of community engagement and of the commitment of UK to the Lexington community’s effort to improve educational outcomes for young children in Lexington,” McCormick said.

Other events in Lexington include:

11 a.m. – Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear will read to children at the Bracktown Child Care Center

1 p.m. – Fayette County School Superintendent Stu Silberman will read to a group of Early Start students at Edith J. Hayes Middle School



The University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences consists of nine programs: Athletic Training; Communication Sciences and Disorders; Physical Therapy; Rehabilitation Sciences PhD Program; Clinical and Reproductive Sciences; Clinical Nutrition; Physician Assistant Studies; Radiation Sciences; and Clinical Leadership and Management.