Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- With more than 27,500 young children registered for Read for the Record, Read to Succeed Buffalo has shattered our local record, set last year, to get the most people reading the same children's book on the same day.  

Children and their caregivers and teachers throughout Western New York responded with great enthusiasm to Read to Succeed Buffalo's call to help break a local and a world record for the most people reading (or being read) the same children's book on the same day.  

Children in child care centers, schools, libraries, community centers, and afterschool programs today are all joining together to read Anna Dewdney's "Llama, Llama, Red Pajama" in an effort to focus attention on early childhood literacy by helping to break the world record of 2.5 million people reading the same book on the same day.  Last year, 11,848 Western New Yorker children participated.

At many local sites, "celebrity" readers - community leaders, legislators, sports figures and media representatives were recruited by Read to Succeed Buffalo to read aloud to children in various settings to reinforce our community's commitment to the importance of early childhood literacy. 

According to Anne Ryan, Executive Director of Read to Succeed Buffalo, "It is incredible to see the excitement Read for the Record has generated in our community!  Our goal was to increase the number of children participating by about 10 percent and we are shattering that goal and nearly doubling the number of children participating locally to over 23,000!  The participation and support for early childhood literacy speaks volumes about the importance of our efforts to promote and support a Culture of Literacy in the City of Buffalo.  I also want to thank the business and community leaders who have taken the time today to read to children and support Read to Succeed Buffalo's mission."

Participation in the program comes from a diverse cross-section of organizations including rural, urban and suburban school districts, churches, afterschool programs, child care centers and home-based child care settings. This year, all Buffalo Public Elementary Schools were encouraged to participate, ensuring a district-wide focus on the importance of early childhood literacy. 

"The Buffalo Public Schools are proud to have helped Read to Succeed Buffalo exceed their goal in student participation with their Read for the Record event," said Interim Superintendent Amber. M. Dixon.  "Certainly, the Buffalo Public Schools students who participated have been enriched by the experience along with our staff, which helped to facilitate and build excitement around the concept of reading together.  Most importantly, Read to Succeed stresses the importance of childhood literacy to the wider community and reminds children and their families that reading is an essential and fun component of overall learning."

Read for the Record is designed to bring national attention to the importance of early childhood education and is sponsored nationally by Jumpstart. Based in Boston, Jumpstart's mission is to build literacy, language, social, and initiative skills in young children.  Locally, Read to Succeed Buffalo has led the effort to participate since 2008 and has been able to continually break each previous year's record. 

Read to Succeed Buffalo is a non-profit organization focused on increasing early childhood literacy and improving third grade reading scores by preparing children for Kindergarten and the early grades through improved exposure to developmentally appropriate, literacy-rich environments. The non-profit organization works to develop models for improving literacy that encourage systemic change in how our community prepares children for success in school and supports them once they enter public school.