International passage

Thursday, December 14, 2006
Children's librarian Martha Bledsoe distributes prizes provided by local businesses in conjunction with the reading event. Cavener's Library and Office Supply donated a Charlotte's Web book, and Century 6 Theater donated movie passes.

By Jennifer Johnson

Nevada Daily Mail

Students, families, and educators gathered at different locations around Nevada on Wednesday Dec. 13 to participate in an attempt to break a world record currently held by the United Kingdom for the "Most People Reading Aloud Simultaneously in Multiple Locations."

Students from St. Marys School in Nevada watch the countdown to a synchronized reading activity, so that the group could begin reading at exactly the same time as thousands of others around the nation, on a computer at the Nevada Public Library on Wednesday, Dec. 13.

Walden Media, along with partners Paramount Pictures, Kerner Entertainment Company, and Nickelodeon Movies, launched this nationwide event, titled, "Break a World Reading Record with Charlotte's Web."

Walden Media released that more than 500,000 readers in more than 2,220 locations around the world were to attempt to break the world record by reading a passage from "Charlotte's Web," the classic tale by E.B. White.

The passage chosen by Walden Media to be read celebrates the moment that Charlotte and Wilbur meet for the first time. Eileen Hughes, Walden Media's director of educational initiative, stated on their official Web site the meaning behind the passage by stating that "This passage marks the beginning of a true friendship, filled with loyalty, sacrifice, and miracles and is an important moment in a book that every child should read."

The Nevada Public Library, Truman Elementary, and the Nevada Middle School all served as official sites for the reading event. Readers were officially registered prior to watching the countdown to noon (EST) which was synchronized around the globe and displayed on the official "Charlotte's Web" Web site.

Truman Elementary School had the most registered readers overall. Librarian Julie Scotten said, "It was an exciting event for the students to partake in, anywhere about the school at noon you could find someone reading," Scotten added that about "600 students, teachers, and employees," had been registered to read in the event.

Nevada Middle School came in with 553 readers; and the Nevada Public Library, which hosted the event for the public and St. Mary's students, had a total of 45 readers.

Area merchants -- Century 6 Cinema and Cavener's Library and Office Supplies -- donated to the event hosted at the library by providing prizes for drawings among registered participants. Winners of the drawings received either two tickets to the new release of Charlotte's Web the movie coming to theaters this Friday, or two free books from Cavener's.

Middle School librarian Amy Hertzberg said that "unofficial results indicate that the record held by the United Kingdom with 155,528 students in 737 schools across the globe had in fact been broken on Wednesday with 547,826 people in 2,451 locations including Nevada reading across the world. The accurately-timed reading of the event did not last long; however, the memories that the participants have of being part of something bigger than the realm of our hometown, will no doubt last longer.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: