Bush Houston Literacy Foundation needs your help breaking world record

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Saturday, October 10, 2015
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The Guinness Book of World Records lists Taiwan as holding the record for the most children read aloud to in a 24-hour period. One group needs your help to break it.

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Studies show students who can't read proficiently by the end of the fourth grade are much more likely to drop out of school and end up in a life of poverty. That's why literacy advocates say making sure kids can read is so important. Later this month, there's a way for you to help the cause.

Neil Bush understands all too well the uphill battle some kid face when learning to read is a challenge.

"I was a dyslexic kid so I struggled as a reader as a kid," he said. "I struggled as a student. Luckily I had loving parents that didn't give up on me and I fought through it."

That experience fuels his passion for literacy advocacy as chairman of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation. This month, the foundation needs your help to accomplish a lofty, international goal -- breaking the Guinness Book of World Records for the most children read aloud to in a 24-hour period. It's called "Read Across The Globe." Right now that Guinness record is 238,000 kids -- so you can imagine they need a lot of willing readers.

"We need 7,000 volunteers in Houston to serve and help up break this Guinness record. These children would love to have you in their classroom," said Julie Baker Finck, president of the Barbara Bush Literacy Foundation.

Finck says the book they've chosen will hopefully inspire kids to make a difference in the community.

"For Read Across the Globe, all of the volunteers will be reading 'Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table,'" Finck said. "This book portrays his efforts to grow a garden and to train members in the community to feed each other and sustain themselves through these gardens."

Organizers say Read Across the Globe is just one step in their fight to make sure kids have the foundational skills they need to become successfully adults.

There are 183 elementary schools around the area signed up for the program. If you're interested in participating in the October 19 Read Across the Globe event, sign up on the http://www.connect4literacy.org website.