The UCF College of Education and Human Performance held its sixth annual Read for the Record in the Education Complex gymnasium last Thursday. Jumpstart, a national organization that promotes early-age literacy, launched the reading campaign 10 years ago. The global event encourages adults and children to participate in a shared reading experience.

CEDHP associate lecturer and Read for the Record organizer Lee-Anne Spalding feels the event is beneficial for pre-kindergarten children and education majors.

“Read for the Record provides CEDHP students with an opportunity to interact with Pre-K children while teaching them the importance of serving the community. The event also creates a foundation for the children to become readers and successful citizens in our society.”

More than 100 Pre-K children from the Creative School for Children, Grand Avenue School and Tuskawilla Presbyterian Church Preschool paired with UCF education-student volunteers to read “Not Norman: A Goldfish Story” by Kelly Bennett, a book about a boy who realizes his goldfish Norman is a good pet.

The Creative School’s associate director Kim Campese says Read for the Record is “a great learning tool and literacy experience for the children.”

Education major Alexis Lambert had an energetic group of 4 year olds and appreciated the opportunity to “help the children with their reading skills and facilitate their learning.”

The fun festivities included eight literacy activity stations associated with the book. Children counted goldfish crackers, wrote the number on a piece of paper and drew tally marks with an iPad app, scooped plastic goldfish out of a tub of water with a small net, learned the difference between service dogs and pets by Canine Companions for Independence and picked a perfect pet by writing their name on a cat, dog, bird, turtle or hamster picture.

Christy Vaughn’s 4-year-old son Read attends Tuskawilla Presbyterian Church Preschool. She was impressed with Read for the Record.

“The event is exposing the children to different types of literature along with giving the UCF students an experience with groups of children. The themed activities and hands-on activities also kept the kids engaged.”

Her son Read had a great time and thought the “relay with the goldfish was fun.”

Read for the Record became a reality with the assistance of generous, local sponsors. PNC Bank bought the children’s books, donated goody bags and provided funding for the buses and other event essentials, and Publix manager Jay Farley donated a nutritious lunch with the assistance of employee and CEDHP student Amanda Harris.

Reading along with the interactive games educated children during a well-rounded, synergetic program.

“I love that children are not only reading a book, but connecting reading with physical movement, counting and social studies,” says CEDHP Dean Pamela Carroll. “The children were talking about what they were reading with their adult partners, which made it a full, literacy event for them to enjoy and remember.”