University of Central Florida College of Education students and youngsters from the UCF Creative School for Children gathered in their pajamas Thursday to help set a world record.

Children all over the world put on their pajamas and participated in Read for the Record, sponsored by Jumpstart and the Pearson Foundation, to raise awareness about the importance of reading in early education.

Knightro welcomed and energized the children at UCF’s Read for the Record event, held in the Morgridge International Reading Center.

Then sixty-seven pre-schoolers read along as “Llama Llama Red Pajama” by Ann Dewdney was shared digitally on the computer to the group.  Sharing the book digitally automatically made a donation of 67 books to children who would not otherwise have access to books of their own, thanks to the non-profit We Give Books.

“This event was designed to impress the importance of reading on children and remind them that reading is awesome,” said Lee-Anne Spalding, event coordinator and a College of Education instructor.

“It was a great learning experience for our students to not only read the book, but also hear it read out loud, as they develop their reading skills,” added Kim Campese, associate director at the UCF Creative School for Children. “The children love working with the students from the College of Education and it is important for them to interact with future teachers,”

UCF Elementary Education majors, all enrolled in a Children’s Literature classes, worked with the 3- and 4-year-olds and practiced read aloud skills they learned in class.

After helping children read the book, students made sock puppets and enjoyed milk and cookies with the pre-schoolers.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for us, as students, to encourage children that reading is a fun activity and make an impression on them so they will want to read more books outside of school,” said Chenise Bell, a junior Elementary Education major.

The children who attended the event at UCF were counted as part of the more than 2 million people who participated in Read for the Record worldwide. For every child who heard the book read aloud, the Pearson Foundation will donate a book to a child in need.