Valdosta Daily Times

October 5, 2012

Valdosta mayor helps set world reading record

Brittany D. McClure
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Valdosta Mayor John Gayle helped set the world reading record Thursday morning by reading “Lady Bug Girl and the Bug Squad” to Judy Duncan’s Kindergarten class at J.L. Lomax Elementary School.

“Education is so important to us right now,” said Gayle. “It’s something we need to promote to encourage the kids.”

Gayle’s read was a part of Jumpstart’s — a national early education organization — Read for the Record campaign co-sponsored by the Pearson Foundation, which is a non-profit, independent organization that promotes literacy, learning and teaching.

“This is an annual campaign,” said communication director of the Pearson Foundation Stacey Finkel.

Read for the Record is a world-record breaking campaign that brings together children and adults to read the same book on the same day. Gayle was one of 75 mayors and other dignitaries across the country that participated.

“I’m just all for the kids because they are our future generation,” said Gayle.

To prepare for Gayle’s read, Duncan’s class of 18 students made lady bug hats which they wore and even decorated the hall with paper lady bugs.

J.L. Lomax media specialist Linda Sermons — who is the media specialist of the year for the third time for the Valdosta City School system — went all out for the event by dressing like a lady bug, from the antenna’s on her head to the polka dotted boots on her feet.

“I love the children and I just want them to have a love of reading,” said Sermons.

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