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Jackson Elementary Students Help Break World Literacy Record
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News Release

October 10, 2014
Jeannie Huey


Jackson Elementary Students Help Break World Literacy Record  

MPB is mobilizing students and educators to create awareness of the early education crisis.


JACKSON, MS– Children throughout Mississippi – one of only eleven states that does not fund a state pre-k program – will have the opportunity to raise awareness about America’s early education achievement disparities in a nationwide, one-day shared reading experience, Jumpstart’s Read for the Record®, taking place on Oct. 21 

Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB), in collaboration with Jumpstart, will host a shared reading event at Dawson Elementary on that day to celebrate Read for the Record®. The Read for the Record® event falls under MPBs mission to expand school readiness statewide through funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s (CPB) and PBS Kids’® Ready to Learn® Initiative. 

As a part of the Ready to Learn Initiative®, MPB has partnered with Dawson Elementary, in order to serve the school and its surrounding community, which has high poverty, unemployment and dropout rates.

 The Read for the Record® ( event is an example of how MPB is using its partnership with local educators and funding from the Ready to Learn Initiative to engage children, families and teachers with educational support for time spent in school, after school and at home.

“MPBs Read for the Record® celebration is just one of MPBs many efforts to encourage a love for reading among young children across the state,” said Maggie Stevenson, MPB Director of Early Childhood.

MPB will provide every kindergarten through second grade classroom at Dawson Elementary with a free copy of this years’ Read for the Record® book “Bunny Cakes,” written and illustrated by Rosemary Wells.

“Ready To Learn® enables MPB to provide educators and students in communities that lack adequate resources with early educational support in the way of supplying tangible things, like the books we are giving teachers at Dawson, as well as by providing educational opportunities,” said Stevenson.

On Oct. 21, early education students at Dawson Elementary will attend an assembly where the children will help MPBs Chef Deyanna bake bunny cakes and watch master storyteller, Doris Jones of the Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE), act out "Bunny Cakes."

“MPB will use funding provided through the Ready To Learn® Initiative to ensure that more engaging events like this are brought to children in Mississippi throughout the upcoming year,” said Stevenson.

The Read for the Record® celebration at Dawson Elementary is one of many more events MPB will organize this year as a means of extending the learning experience from the television screen into communities around the state. 

For more information about how you can support MPB’s work in early education, or to get involved in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record® campaign, visit Read for the Record (

Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB) provides instructional and public affairs programming to Mississippians through its statewide television and radio network.  MPB enhances the work of educators, students, parents and learners of all ages by providing informative programming and educational resources.  MPB’s locally-produced programming focuses on the people, resources and attractions that reflect Mississippi’s unique culture and diverse heritage. Children’s television programs constitute a major portion of the daytime and weekend morning schedules.  MPB provides a valuable resource to Mississippians in disseminating information as part of the state’s emergency preparedness and response system. Since 1970, MPB has won over 400 national, regional and statewide awards, including Emmy®, Edward R. Murrow and Parents’ Choice® Awards. For more information on MPB, its programs, mission or educational resources, please visit

Jumpstart is a national early education organization working toward the day every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. Jumpstart delivers a research based and cost-effective program by training college students and community volunteers to serve preschool-age children in low-income neighborhoods. By participating in Jumpstart’s year-long program, children develop the language and literacy skills they need to be ready for school, setting them on a path for lifelong success. To learn more, visit