Read for the Record is a national campaign originally conceived by Jumpstart, in partnership with the Pearson Foundation. Every Oct. 3 finds children all across the country reading or being read the event’s main book. Students in schools, after-school programs and special events like the one hosted at CSCC were introduced to “Otis” by Loren Long.
Suzanne Wood, early childhood education coordinator and associate professor, said the reading program is an effective tool for childhood literacy.
“I think it gets children involved in reading and the enjoyment of literature. You can never start too young,” Wood said. “We don’t put any age limits on the children, and neither does Read for the Record. Any child can come and participate.”
The ECE Club spent about a month planning for the event. According to Wood, the special day offers her students an opportunity to gain real-life experience. She explained their roles as teachers will one day find them planning similar events on a regular basis for their students.
“Otis” is a story about an old tractor who has been sent out to pasture and his young friend, a calf. The calf finds herself in some trouble when she is stuck in mud. It is up to the old, but reliable, Otis to save the day.
“The friendship was between a young calf and an older tractor, kind of like a grandparent and a child,” Wood explained. “Even though [some people] are older, they can still care for [those younger] and provide good things for them.”
Several stations were set up for children to further their understanding of the initial reading. One station found children mixing various sweet foods, like pudding and gummy worms, to create a “dirt” cup. The fun concoction looked similar to the mud surrounding the young calf.
Another station had students paste together a cow’s face onto half a paper plate. The children were left with a mask they could tie together with a piece of yarn. An accompanying station allowed students to gain an elementary understanding, using construction paper, of how a tractor comes together.
ECE Club president Lindsey Prok said members spent a month on the project.
“We decided what the theme was and how we could relate this to kids and how they could learn a lesson from this tractor,” Prok said. “... We worked together to come up with some ideas for what we could do for this event.”
According to Wood, the main objective of the day was to have fun.
“I want them to have a good time. Hopefully, they will learn something as they do an activity,” Wood said. “All the activities are very simple— things parents can do at home with the kids. We want parents to do it [at home].”
Prok shared similar sentiments.
“It is always a great opportunity for kids in the community and our school faculty and staff to be able to come out and see what it is all about,” Prok said. “They are able to find out how to relate books [to their children] and relate crafts to books, so they can further the education provided by the book.”
Wood encouraged members of the community to check out the newly renovated library facilities at the college. She said anyone could receive a library card at a minimal cost. Those who have ever attended CSCC need not pay a fee. There is a children’s section and the opportunity to check out Book Buddy bags for kids.