On Thursday, children throughout Bolivar County will hear the story of a tractor named Otis who, even though he had been forgotten after the farmer bought a big yellow tractor, still saves the day by rescuing a calf from a muddy pond.
“Otis” by Loren Long is the universal book chosen by Read for the Record, a premiere national campaign by Jumpstart, which is presented in partnership with the Pearson Foundation.
Read for the Record is one time a year when individuals from all parts of the world come together to celebrate literacy and support Jumpstart in promoting early childhood education.
While schools around Bolivar County will be reading Otis, Bell Academy has pledged to read the story to all 355 of their students.
"I checked out the website and thought this national event would be a great way to get parents involved," said Penni Morgan, math specialist at Bell Academy.
"So, I pledged to have all 355 students, 4K-6th grades, participate. I e-mailed our Booster Club president, Christie Rocconi, and she sought parent volunteers," said Morgan.
In 2012, 2.3 million people participated in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record.
The Robinson-Carpenter Memorial Library in Cleveland will be reading Otis at 4 p.m. on Thursday during story hour.
"This will be my fourth year to participate in this event and I just hold it as a special 4 o'clock story hour —s omething for the children to come to the library to be a part of," said Bobbie Matheney, director of youth services.
While normal story hour is held during regular school hours, and available to younger children not yet attending school, Matheney felt the Read for the Record story hour should be available to all children.
"It's for children of all ages, even adults can come if they would like to," said Matheney.
To ensure children are engaged in the story, Matheney said, "There are different questions and different activities that will let us know fi the child comprehended what was being read we turn it into a joyful time for the children."
"It's important to read to children and let them be aware of how important reading is," said Matheney.
Farming costumes are encouraged but not required.