Reading & Literacy

In the Running for a Record

October 19, 2004 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

In an effort to promote literacy, students in western New York state tried last week to break the Guinness world record for the largest number of people in different locations reading out loud simultaneously.

The Buffalo News, through its Newspapers in Education department, initiated the challenge, in part to familiarize children with newspapers.

At 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 13, students in more than 500 schools in and around Buffalo all read a poem by the late Shel Silverstein called “Hug O’ War” that was printed in the newspaper.

“We chose this poem because it is easy to read, it has a good message, and because of the beloved author,” said Cindy Sterner, the manager of educational services at The Buffalo News.

When the organizers signed up to try to break a record on the Web site of Guinness World Records Ltd., the English company that maintains and sponsors such records, they were told they would have to break the record set by 3,700 British students in 2000.

However, the situation became more complicated last month, as the read-along date neared, when organizers learned that 11,927 students in 16 schools in Hong Kong had already broken the new record.

Even though 90,000 Buffalo-area students were assembled from 300 schools a week before the contest, Guinness World Records informed the organizers that yet another record had been verified. On March 19, 155,528 British students from 737 schools read a poem simultaneously and aloud.

“Being from Buffalo, we are not giving up,” Ms. Sterner said early last week.

A couple of days before the contest, organizers were trying to reach more schools in order to assemble 160,000 students, with the help of a local radio station.

Students were excited about the opportunity, Ms. Sterner said. “We wanted to do something fun, so the kids would enjoy reading.”

This week, Ms. Sterner expects to find out whether the effort indeed set a new world record.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Your Questions on the Science of Reading, Answered
Dive into the Science of Reading with K-12 leaders. Discover strategies, policy insights, and more in our webinar.
Content provided by Otus
Mathematics Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Breaking the Cycle: How Districts are Turning around Dismal Math Scores
Math myth: Students just aren't good at it? Join us & learn how districts are boosting math scores.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
How To Tackle The Biggest Hurdles To Effective Tutoring
Learn how districts overcome the three biggest challenges to implementing high-impact tutoring with fidelity: time, talent, and funding.
Content provided by Saga Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Reading & Literacy High Schools Kids Barely Read. Could Audiobooks Reverse That Trend?
Audiobooks, long considered by some educators as "cheating," are finding a place in the high school curriculum.
4 min read
Vector illustration concept of young person listening to an audiobook.
iStock/Getty
Reading & Literacy Spotlight Spotlight on How Reading and Writing Fuel Each Other
This Spotlight will help you learn the benefits of tutoring on reading skills; identify how to build students’ reading stamina; and more.


Reading & Literacy What It Takes for Kids to Get Lost in a Good Story, and Why It Matters
A team of researchers delves into what gets students to read in a state of complete absorption.
4 min read
An elementary student reads on his own in class.
An elementary student reads on his own in class.
Allison Shelley/EDUimages
Reading & Literacy What's Missing From States' Reading Laws? The Role of Content Knowledge
Content is a critical part of reading—and should be name-checked by lawmakers, reading researchers say.
3 min read
Group of 7 diverse elementary children sitting in library, reading books, side view of kids on red couches with books.
The Image Bank/Getty