Alabama Cattlemen’s Association (ACA) volunteer leaders from across the state donned their boots and hats and headed into elementary school classrooms on October 7, 2010, to help out with the national "Read for the Record" program; doing their part to create the largest shared reading experience in history.
"This is a great program. Not only because it favors the cause of childhood literacy but also because it allows our members to interact one-on-one with school children. In a time when few people have any connection to farm life, this grants the opportunity to talk openly about where our food comes from and who the people are behind the modern beef industry," said Dr. Billy Powell, ACA executive vice president.
Nationally, the Jumpstart "Read for the Record" program has reached more than three million children over the past four years and is supported by celebrities like Bill Cosby, Patti LaBelle and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
"It was really fun to go in and interact with the kids at Straughn Elementary. I read to two first grade classrooms and then gave the books to the teachers to keep before I left. The kids were excited and I look forward to doing it again," said Wood Clark, ACA regional vice president from Andalusia.
Statewide, 29 county chapters of the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association coordinated an effort to send cowboys into 41 schools to help "Read for the Record."