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Ashanti To Serve as Celebrity Ambassador for Jumpstart's Read for the Record Campaign

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Jumpstart, a national early education non-profit organization, recently announced that GRAMMY Award winning, multi-platinum artist, Ashanti, is the official celebrity ambassador of the 2012 Read for the Record campaign.

Jumpstart'??s Read for the Record, presented in partnership with the Pearson Foundation, is one day of the year when millions of individuals come together to celebrate literacy by breaking the world record for reading the same book on the same day.

'??We'??re so honored to have Ashanti as our 2012 Read for the Record celebrity ambassador and we admire her commitment to help Jumpstart raise awareness of the importance of high quality early education in our country,'? said Naila Bolus, president and CEO of Jumpstart.

In low-income neighborhoods, children start kindergarten 60 percent behind their peers from affluent communities, leaving them woefully unprepared when it'??s time to start school. When children start school behind, they are more likely to stay behind for the rest of their lives, and this gap only widens over time. In 2011 alone, Jumpstart'??s Read for the Record impacted 2.2 million individuals, raising awareness of the early education crisis and Jumpstart'??s mission.

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'??I'??m really excited to participate in Read for the Record and play a role in making a positive impact in the lives of children by giving them a '??jump start,'??'? said Ashanti.

As celebrity ambassador, Ashanti officially kicked off the campaign with a special appearance on the TODAY Show to encourage people to participate in the world'??s largest shared reading experience on October 4, 2012. Ashanti will join the TODAY team live on set at The New York Public Library as part of NBC News'?? 2012 '??Education Nation'? Summit coverage.

Jumpstart'??s Read for the Record is one day of the year when millions of individuals come together to celebrate literacy by breaking the world record for reading the same book on the same day. On October 4, adults and children across the country will read Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad, by David Soman and Jacky Davis, in support of Jumpstart'??s mission: to work toward the day every child in America enters school prepared to succeed.

For more information about Jumpstart'??s Read for the Record campaign, please visit www.jstart.org/readfortherecord. For information on Jumpstart'??s Read for the Record Fundraising Drive, please visit http://bit.ly/JRFTR.

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