LAS VEGAS -- In an effort to set a world record, 2 million school kids across the country read the same book Thursday. The effort is especially important in Nevada where students struggle with literacy.
According to the National Center for Education, statistics show Nevada's reading scores are below the national average. Local and state political leaders say everyone must face the reality that Nevada students need help.
Governor Brian Sandoval helped Clark County school children take part in the effort to set the new record by reading Llama Llama Red Pajama at Odyssey Charter School Thursday.
"He made the story really fun," first grader Ariel Calvert said.
Sandoval says he wanted to set an example that reading is crucial to students.
"It's incredibly important. One of my goals is to have every child to be at grade level by the time they hit third grade." he said.
"It makes me smarter," third grader Robert Hailey said. His mom says finding time to read with her son is sometimes a challenge but she makes sure to do it.
"It's very important for the kids, they need a base and then you build on top of it," Chrystal Hailey said.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman also read to students when she visited Ethel Staton Elementary School. With 30 years experience in education, she says it's important get kids enthusiastic about reading before they reach the age of 10.
"Birth to 10 is where you put in the desire to learn and give them the skills so that as they go forward in life and read anything, they can do anything," Goodman said.
Increasing literacy and language scores takes a lot of work but Hailey encourages all parents to make an effort in order to get results.
"Go back to the basics. Take those 15 minutes, 20 minutes a day or night. Take that time with your child and open a book." Hailey said.
After listening to the story, kids had a chance to ask both Governor Sandoval and Mayor Goodman about their jobs. And thanks to a group called the Pearson Foundation, some kids were even given Llama Llama Red Pajama to keep and share with their families.
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