US American civil rights leader, Reverend Jesse Jackson, is lending his support to the BIG Read. At a forum at the House of Commons on Friday, 26 February 2010, the Reverend Jackson stated: “I support the BIG Read because if you can read, you can reason. Reading is like a light to your brain. It takes you out of darkness… Literacy liberates. Reading and reasoning are forces for change, for the good”.
Nearly 3000 children have already registered for the event, and schools from as far as Reading and Croydon will be joining others from Tower Hamlets and the surrounding boroughs. They will all participate in this unique event, which seeks to highlight the importance of literacy, locally, nationally and internationally.
The world record attempt will involve authors, teachers and some special guests reading from Roald Dahl’s classic ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ to the assembled children. Celebrities taking part include journalist, Victoria Brittain, BBC London presenter Asad Ahmed and Hedy Epstein, an 85 year old holocaust survivor.
Former stars from the BBC hit show The Apprentice will also be taking part. They include, Ghazal Asif, Tre Azzam, Majid Nagra and Syed Ahmed. Baroness Pola Uddin, George Galloway MP, British and Commonwealth Boxing Champion, Anthony Small, journalist Yvonne Ridley, and the Leader of Tower Hamlets Council, Lutfur Rahman, will also be participating.
A special guest appearance will take place by John Stephens who worked as part of the special effects team on what turned out to be the cult film, ‘Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.’
In May 2009, IF Charity broke the Guinness World Record for the ‘most people running 100 meters in a 12 hour relay’. They also launched the BIG IFtar in September 2009, which saw them feeding thousands of homeless people in London and nine other cities around the world.
Ruhul Tarafder, Communications Manager for IF Charity, said: “We are delighted to have over so many children already registered and are on our way to recruit a further 500 to break the current record, held by a school in Dubai”.
“So, if you or your school hasn’t already registered, please do so as soon as possible and lets bring this record to London.”
The event will take place at the London Muslim Centre, in Whitechapel, from 9:00am to 9:00pm.