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Reading Record Update!

December 14th, 2006 by Paul Martin

On December 13, 2006, 547,826 readers in 2,451 locations, 50 states and 5028 countries, gathered together to break the Guiness World Record(TM) for the “Most People Reading Alound Simultaneously in Multiple Locations.”

In over 2,500 locations, in all 50 states, and in 28 countries, over half a million readers participated in “Break a World Reading Record with Charlotte’s Web” today at 12:00 pm (EST) in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record™ for the “Most People Reading Aloud Simultaneously in Multiple Locations.” The event served to introduce Charlotte’s Web to new fans, encourage longtime fans to read it again and build excitement for this heartwarming story in advance of the December 15 release of the new live-action film based on the beloved classic.

According to Guinness World Records™, the current record for the largest number of people reading the same piece of literature aloud, simultaneously, in multiple locations is 155,528 students from 737 schools throughout the United Kingdom. They read William Wordsworth’s poem “Daffodils” on March 19, 2004. As of 11:30 am (EST) on December 13, 547,826 readers in 2,451 locations, 50 states and 28 countries had registered on the event’s official website (www.charlotteswebbarr.com) to take part in the attempt.

Here are a few interesting facts about registered participants in the event:

– Students registered to participate from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Kalamazoo, Michigan;
– Students in Hawaii participated at 7:00 am;
– Islands like Haiti, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico participated;
– Other countries include Australia, Canada, Mexico, China, and Israel;
– Julia Roberts’ hometown of Smyrna, GA planned to participate;
– Group sizes ranged from 1 home school student in Boone, IA to 3,086 students in Salem, MA;
– The #1 city for participating locations is Las Vegas, NV; but the city with the highest number of participants is Houston, TX;
– The Kentucky School for the Deaf (KY) as well as the Perkins School for the Blind (MA) participated;
– Texas comes in first for number of locations and participants with California second.

Walden Media and film partners Paramount Pictures, Kerner Entertainment Company, Nickelodeon Movies and publishing partner HarperCollins will join forces in this exciting event to highlight E. B. White’s classic tale. Walden Media has set up a website for interested participants at www.walden.com. An instruction guide, a Charlotte’s Web event guide, reproducible activity sheets, and registration forms will provide comprehensive information and tips to join this national attempt to break a world record.

This attempt is part of a national campaign by Walden Media to build awareness of Charlotte’s Web. Walden Media has also offered a “True Friends” writing contest for students in grades K?4, printed and distributed free classroom activity calendars, educational guides, movie posters and 109,000 copies of Charlotte’s Web to librarians and Title 1 classrooms across the country. In addition, an extensive web site offers PDF versions of the print materials, reproducible activity sheets, and online games for children at www.walden.com.

A Paramount Pictures and Walden Media presentation of a Kerner Entertainment Company/Nickelodeon Movies production, Charlotte’s Web is directed by Gary Winick, stars Dakota Fanning and features the voices of Julia Roberts, Steve Buscemi, John Cleese, Oprah Winfrey, Cedric the Entertainer, Andre Benjamin, Thomas Haden Church, Robert Redford, Reba McEntire, and Kathy Bates. Charlotte’s Web is a new, live-action adaptation of E. B. White’s beloved classic, which is the best-selling children’s paperback of all time. In Charlotte’s Web, a very small pig finds that the most powerful force in the world is the bond of friendship. Wilbur, a pig and the runt of the litter, has a youthful manner that makes him seem na?ve to the other animals in his new barn, but to Charlotte ? the spider who lives in the rafters ? he is a welcome friend. Their friendship is shown to be a lasting one when the other animals reveal that the pig’s days are numbered. It seems that only a miracle will save Wilbur’s life. A determined Charlotte spins words into her web in an effort to convince the farmer that Wilbur is “some pig” and worth saving. The film has been rated G by the MPAA and will be in theaters nationwide on December 15, 2006.


We are “humbled” by your “terrific” response. You are truly “some readers.” Please be sure to send in all documentation by January 3 to:

Eileen Hughes
Walden Media
294 Washington Street – 7th Floor
Boston, MA 02108

Online registration is closed. If you participated, you can still be counted by sending in your verification materials.