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Arkansas Razorbacks Head Basketball Coach Eric Musselman.

Arkansas Razorbacks Head Coach Eric Musselman will be one of the celebrity readers for this year’s virtual “Read for the Record” program with the El Dorado School District.

To support literacy and to help break the world record for students reading the same book on the same day, approximately 1,500 students will take part in the 11th anniversary for the El Dorado Read for the Record, to be held on Thursday.

The program will take place online and at each elementary school – Hugh Goodwin, Northwest, Yocum, and Yocum Primary.

Students in kindergarten through second grade will receive free copies of the book, provided by a grant from the El Dorado Education Foundation (EDEF).

This year’s book is “Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away” by Meg Medina. Also included, since it will be close to Halloween, will be a second book, “Crankenstein,” by Samantha Berger. Coach Musselman will be reading aloud not just one but both books.

In addition, for the first time, a Spanish-language version of the Read for the Record book also will be read aloud. The featured celebrity reader for this narrative will be Ambar Mendez. Ms. Mendez is a Board member for the Arkansas chapter of the national New Leaders Council organization, as well as a northwest Arkansas Realtor. In her work and volunteer activities, she has a focus for educational advocacy. The Spanish-language book will be provided to ESL (English as a Second Language) students.

After listening to each of the stories, teachers will follow up with writing and other activities, to help students consider how the authors indicate emotions in their works. Both books feature themes of change. Students will be given opportunities to discuss how changes in their own lives may make them feel, as well as positive ways to respond.

Some El Dorado students even will be featured in a Read for the Record video, by demonstrating emotions illustrated by characters in the two books.

Due to these El Dorado and University of Arkansas activities (UA), a new Shared Reading program for elementary students will begin, in which Coach Musselman will be the first guest reader. Monthly, a reader from the university’s student body, staff, or volunteers, will virtually read a children’s book to El Dorado students. UA sorority members, majorettes, cheerleaders, as well as El Dorado Promise UA college students, already have signed on. The program will promote literacy, as well as provide glimpses into college life. This unique initiative was inspired by Coach Musselman’s desire to promote literacy among young people.

Coach Musselman was named the Arkansas Razorbacks head basketball coach in 2019. With more than 30 years of coaching experience at almost every level, he became just the second first-year Razorbacks coach to win at least 20 games in a season.

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