Students hear classic story
as part of Read for the Record

GRAYSON - About 300 students at Trip Elementary School listened Thursday to the story of a very hungry caterpillar who eats and eats and eats before turning into a beautiful butterfly.

The students joined children from around the world who heard Eric Carle's classic, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," as part of Jumpstart's Read for the Record, an international campaign to promote early literacy.

The campaign strives to set a record for the number of children who read the same book on the same day. Last year, nearly 700,000 children participated in the shared reading experience.

Trip Elementary administrators invited local "celebrities" to read to kindergartners and first-graders, principal Marci Resnick said. The guests included Gwinnett County Board of Education representative Carole Boyce, the principals of Bay Creek Middle and Grayson High and members of the Grayson football team.

"It was nice to be able to read to them," said running back Ean Pemberton, one of seven football players who visited the school.

In fact, Pemberton read two other Carle books to the class after he finished "The Very Hungry Caterpillar."

The Grayson senior said he thinks it's important to promote reading and motivate younger students to become literate.

"They look up to us," he said. "It will influence them as they get older."

Grayson head coach Mickey Conn said he wants the team to continue to work with the elementary school students.

"We want to show them how important it is to be educated," he said.

Resnick said she hopes Thursday's event improves the partnership between her school and the middle and high schools and serves as a catalyst for greater community involvement.