To celebrate literacy, Jumpstart’s Read for the Record ® campaign, the largest shared reading experience encourages millions of adults and children to participate on a designated day to bring attention to high-quality early education. Regardless of size, the national event is held in big cities, small towns, and anywhere that children are learning.
Through Hands-On Broward, hundreds of volunteers signed up including Hollywood’s Mitch Anton to read the chosen book Thank you, Omu! by Oge Mora to 40,000 kindergarten and first-grade students in 500 VPK centers, 225 schools, and 1,500 classrooms throughout Broward County.
As always, the enthusiastic Hollywood City Commission candidate shows that he likes to go the extra mile. Prior to the big day, he purchased the book to research and read so he could be sure to provide all the important details. He has been involved in the program for three years and was assigned to read in Mr. Frazier’s class at Bethune Elementary this past November.
“The lesson this year is about ‘sharing’ and I have figured out a way to make sure the kids understand how important ‘sharing’ is,” said Anton. “I take the day to teach the students the lesson the book tries to instill.”
Thank you, Omu! is based on the author’s experience about living with her grandmother in Africa. The title character, Omu, (pronounced Ah-Moo), cooked a huge pot of stew and all the people in her village could smell the scent. The villagers came by to find out what smelled so good and, in the end, Omu had given out all her food to them and had none for herself. But, soon, all the people she gave to came back to be sure she was also fed.
“The moral of the story, of course, was “sharing”. So, I wanted to make sure the VPK class knew what sharing meant. I then showed the class that I had brought lollipops for everyone, but I was short one lollipop, which was a lie. So, I asked what three children wanted a lollipop and gave out the three lollipops. I then asked each one who was willing to give up their lollipop to me since I didn’t have one. Two of them said no, but one child gave it back. So, we discussed what it means to share and how good they would feel if the shared something with their brother or sister or mother tonight,” explained Anton. “In the end, they all just wanted to hug me non-stop. They were full of love which makes the day that much more special.”