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More than 1,200 children in Pontotoc, Murray, Garvin and Johnston Counties participated Thursday [OCT. 6] in Jumpstart America’s Campaign of “Read for the Record,” an initiative calling for an end to the early education achievement gap in America. Nationwide, two million children participated in the program.
Children in child care centers, Head Starts, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs read the chosen book for this year, “Llama Llama, Red Pajama,” by Anna Dewdney. Thanks to the partnership between Smart Start South Central and local centers and schools, books were supplied for classrooms so teachers could share this book with their young students. 
Many of the classrooms hosted a pajama day for their students to make the reading time even more special and did related activities throughout the day related to the book.
“Developing pre-emergent and early reading skills is key to closing the education achievement gap in America,” said Trish Little, community coordinator for Smart Start South Central.  “Any opportunity that we have to partner with teachers and caretakers in our local area to help develop these skills is a winning proposition.”
Smart Start South Central is an early childhood initiative housed in the Center of Continuing Education and Community Services at East Central University. For more information about programs like this, contact Trish Little at 580-559-5367 or Cindy Byrd at 580-559-5872.

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