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County libraries hope to set reading record
Hannah Rantz, 4, reads in the children’s room at the Turlock Library. On Thursday, the room will play host to the Read for the Record campaign, and Turlockers will join a nation-wide attempt to break the world record for reading the same book to the most children on a single day. This year’s selected book is “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle. - photo by ANDREA GOODWIN / The Journal
Generations of children have grown up with “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” This childhood icon has been munching his way through fruit, salami, a cupcake, and other goodies since the book was first published in 1969. This week children in Turlock will get the chance to set a world record with the help of their very hungry caterpillar friend.
The Stanislaus County Library will participate in a world-record attempt at reading the same book to the most children on a single day on Thursday. The nation-wide reading, called Read for the Record, is sponsored by Jumpstart. The organization’s stated mission is to ensure that all children in America enter school prepared to succeed.
Every year the group selects a different book to be read to children across the country in an attempt to break their previous record. The book “Corduroy” was read to more than 700,000 children last year.
Susan Lilly, public information officer for Stanislaus County Library, said that the point of the event is to bring attention to the need for reading out-loud to children.
“That’s one of the messages that we are always promoting,” Lilly said.
Stanislaus County Libraries have participated in past Read for the Record campaigns. In 2006, the county had over 2,350 children participate in their first Read for the Record campaign. The program included readings at county libraries, schools, and in homes.
Stanislaus County’s participation in Read for the Record has more than tripled since that first year. The last time Stanislaus County Library participated in the event (they did not participate last year) over 8,500 children were read to.
The Turlock Library will have three scheduled readings of “They Very Hungry Caterpillar” on Thursday. At 10 a.m. the book will be read as part of the regularly scheduled Toddler Time. At 11 a.m. readers will present the book during Storytime. At 7 p.m. there will be a special reading of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” There will also be a take-home caterpillar craft for the kids at the 7 p.m. reading.
Lilly said that Storytime usually draws about 70 kids, and she expects that more children will participate on Thursday for the Read for the Record campaign.
“It’s really great to see lots of people involved,” Lilly said.
Denair Library will have a reading of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” at 3 p.m. with a craft program to follow. There will be a Spanish Storytime reading of the book at the Modesto Library at 6:30 p.m. Libraries across Stanislaus County will hold Read for the Record events, for a full schedule visit  
To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.