Pelham Bay students join nationwide reading challenge 'Read for the Record'

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PELHAM BAY -

Children across the country are joining forces for a reading challenge that encourages literacy and community togetherness.

It was a day of learning and community at the Pelham Bay Early Childhood Center.

Children and adults gathered together for story time as a part of Jumpstart's "Read for the Record" campaign.

“It’s to shine light on literacy in preschool. A lot of initiatives focus on elementary school, so this just brings it down to our level,” says principal Deanna Diamond.

The campaign has been around since 2006, encouraging children and adults to connect through books and raise awareness about the importance of literacy in early childhood.

All Jumpstart locations across the country read the same book on the same day as part of what the organization calls the "world's largest shared reading experience.”

Children at Pelham Bay Early Childhood Center are read to by their teachers, local clergyman and elected officials.

"Every year the kids look forward to it and so do the parents, hence our wonderful “Thank You, Omu” T-shirts,” says Diamond.

This year’s book is "Thank You, Omu," which tells the story of a character who shares her pot of stew with so many of her neighbors there's none left for herself, but they, in turn, bring her food.

 "We hope that they can feel a sense of community and understand that we're all a part of the same community and that we really love each other and be a part of each other’s lives,” says Marjory Antoine, deputy director for education programs.

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