Read for the Record: Elementary schools read to break world record

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SALT LAKE CITY -- One in three children in the United States enter kindergarten already behind in reading, with many never catching up. But on Thursday, children and adults all across the country addressed the problem with llamas and red pajamas.

At Lincoln Elementary in Salt Lake City, Mayor Ralph Becker led a group of pre-school aged children of the book "Llama, Llama, Red Pajama." It is a chance to break a record, with the largest shared reading experience in one day, getting children excited about reading.

Just down the street at Bennion Elementary, another class heard the same words, but from first-lady Jeanette Herbert.

"I don't think you can really succeed in life unless you learn to read and learn to appreciate reading," Herbert told KSL.

"Because if they don't have that foundation, everything just can't follow and success can't follow, Becker added.

Children got to wear pajamas and llama ears to school, receiving a book of their own to take home.

"I can't go to sleep without a bedtime story," said Eli of Lincoln Elementary.

"I've always liked reading big books," added Davie Koerte of Bennion Elentary. "And I'm going to keep reading my books."

I don't think you can really succeed in life unless you learn to read and learn to appreciate reading.

–Jeanette Herbert

At Washington Elementary, many of the children's mothers were in the audience to show their support of the reading program, which is what won Washington Elementary KSL's Reading Reward.

Mr. Talbot's 6th grade class earned a new smart board because the school has worked wonders at getting parents involved in their school. Last year, three mothers worked to run the PTA. By reaching out to families, Washington now has a full PTA and community council.

As a result, a representative from Big-O Tires presented the smart board for their efforts.

"It helps these kids' minds and it's great that they're learning all these great things," said Sean Colton of Big- O Tires. "It's going to help them in the future."

"It's really rejuvenated the sense of community in this school versus in the past," said Beth Iucker, a mother involved in the school's PTA. "I personally feel the difference. I think there's so many families who want to participate."

To nominate your school for a Reading Reward, go to



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