State’s first lady reads to Mt Laurel students

Reinforcing the power of reading and its importance to the development of life skills, First Lady Mary Pat Christie today visited the Larchmont School in Mount Laurel to support Jumpstart’s 6th Annual Read for the Record Campaign. Mrs. Christie read the Anna Dewdney book “Llama, Llama Red Pajama” to a class of students with autism spectrum disorder. The Read for the Record program, a partnership with the nonprofit arm of Pearson, the international education and media company, brings children and adults together to read the same book, on the same day, in homes and communities nationwide.

“From my own experience as a parent, I know that reading with your children is a vital part of building self-confidence and pride in learning,” said Mrs. Christie. “I applaud the work of the Larchmont School and Jumpstart for inspiring a child’s sense of discovery through the world of books and helping to develop important life skills that will put children on a path to a brighter future.”

After reading to the class, Mrs. Christie distributed copies of the story books to the children that were donated by the Pearson Foundation.

Autism awareness is an advocacy area embraced by First Lady Mary Pat Christie to bring greater understanding of the developmental disability. Throughout the year, Mrs. Christie has highlighted the innovative work being done by individuals and organizations throughout the state to serve people with autism spectrum disorder.

During last year’s highly successful “Read for the Record” campaign, 2,057,513 children heard “The Snowy Day” read aloud to them. Since 2006, more than 5 million children nationwide have been read to as a result of the initiative. In addition, more than $6.2 million has been raised to provide books and supplies for children in need while more than 800,000 books have been donated to children in low-income neighborhoods nationally. This year, it is estimated that more 2 million adults and children will join together to read “Llama, Llama Red Pajama.”

Jumpstart is a nonprofit organization that specializes in the field of early childhood education. The organization recruits and trains thousands of college students and community volunteers to work with preschool children in low-income neighborhoods, helping them to develop the language, literacy, and social skills they need to succeed in school and in life.

More information about Read for the Record can be found at www.readfortherecord.org