The world's largest read-along

Perkins students join millions around the globe to celebrate literacy during annual Read for the Record event

Brayden reads a section of "Not Norman" aloud during Read for the Record

Brayden reads a section of "Not Norman" aloud during Read for the Record. Photo Credit: Anna Miller.

October 23, 2015

As members of the Perkins School for the Blind community demonstrated on October 22, there is more than one way to read a book.

Students, teachers and staff gathered together to participate in Read for the Record, an annual effort to break the world record for the most people reading the same book on the same day.

Perkins Library Director Kim Charlson greeted 107 readers, all equipped with a copy of “Not Norman” by Kelly Bennett, the 2015 Read for the Record selection.

“Are you ready to read?” she called out, to an enthusiastic response.

Eight students took turns telling the story of a young boy and his lively pet goldfish, Norman. Some read aloud from braille notetakers while others used handheld magnifiers to read large-print text. Students Andy and James used switches to play recordings of their pages for everyone to hear.

“We’ve got all kinds of different ways to read today,” said Charlson, who read the opening and closing pages in braille. “What matters is getting students excited about reading, no matter how they do it.”

Read for the Record is sponsored by Jumpstart, a national organization based in Boston that prepares children in low-income neighborhoods for kindergarten by helping them develop literacy skills. Read for the Record, now in its tenth year, has become the organization’s premier campaign.

Last year, 2.3 million children and adults around the globe read “Bunny Cakes,” by Rosemary Wells. Seventy-seven Perkins School for the Blind students and staffers joined in, but the record, set in 2013 with 2.4 million readers, remained intact.

Results from this year’s event, including the final tally of readers, will be available in the coming weeks. 

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