“Two hundred fifty military children attended the Read for the Record Campaign this year, and we’re very proud of that achievement,” said Missimer. “Today, joining us in D.C. are 30 USO volunteers, many from the Air Force, to read and to support our partnership with United Through Reading.”

Sally Zoll, CEO of United Through Reading, explained how her organization is helping parents who are serving in the armed forces overseas read to their children.

“Just because Mommy or Daddy can’t be there physically to read to you,” said Zoll, addressing the crowd, “doesn’t mean they can’t read to you. We’ve already sent our overseas United Through Reading members copies of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and they have recorded themselves reading the books on DVDs. We then send these DVDs to you, their children.”

The festivities, and what the children had been waiting for, started when Bettina Deynes, vice president of human resources for the Nationals, read the book in Spanish to the attending children, and Brian van de Graaff, meteorologist for ABC 7 News, read to the children in English.

The book, which follows the growth of a caterpillar into a butterfly after feeding its tremendous appetite for a variety of foods, served as an apt metaphor for the event itself: Growing children, hungry for knowledge, with the right educational nourishment can one day spread their wings.

“We’re here to show you that reading can open doors, and it can be fun,” said Kasten.


Jumpstart’s Read for the Record

Pearson Foundation

United Through Reading

Note to readers:

Don’t forget to visit the Placing Reading Power in Students’ Hands resource center. All students deserve an equal education, but sometimes language barriers or learning disabilities leave some students lagging behind and struggling to understand words or concepts. Go to: Placing Reading Power in Students’ Hands