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Support for early literacy initiative at more than 100 hotels demonstrates corporate commitment to youth and education

CHICAGO – September 2, 2008 – For the second consecutive year, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts will serve as a national corporate sponsor of Jumpstart’s Read for the Record® campaign, participating in a global effort to highlight the importance of early childhood education by breaking the world record for the largest shared reading experience.

Slated to take place on October 2, Jumpstart’s Read for the Record is an outreach program designed to encourage children and adults from around the world to read the same book on the same day. Across the United States, Canada and Mexico, associates at more than 100 hotels will distribute customized bookmarks to all guests beginning on September 8 through the day of the reading events taking place October 2. On that day, general managers and other local team members will read this year’s official campaign book, Corduroy, to groups of children at schools and libraries in their local communities. The company is also encouraging members of its Hyatt Gold Passport® program to donate points towards a financial contribution to Jumpstart. Participating Hyatt brands include Hyatt Regency®, Grand Hyatt®, Park Hyatt®, Hyatt Summerfield Suites® and Hyatt Place®.

As an active contributor to the local communities in which it serves, Hyatt will donate custom, limited-edition copies of Corduroy, written by Don Freeman, to local pre-school organizations and libraries across the United States. Celebrating its 40th year in print, this international classic shares a timeless message about love and friendship.

“For the past 50 years, Hyatt has demonstrated its commitment to social responsibility, youth and education,” said Mark Hoplamazian, Global Hyatt Corporation president and chief executive officer. “Together, Hyatt and Jumpstart aim to educate the community about the importance of literacy in the lives of young children and encourage public involvement in literacy programs.”

Participating Hyatt properties are partnering with local organizations and schools to create interactive reading events that include learning activities and games. In addition, Hyatt properties in major cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta, along with Jumpstart, will host special reading events at schools, local organizations and libraries.

Last year, more than 258,000 people participated in the Read for the Record event nationwide and more than $1 million was raised to support Jumpstart’s literacy-building efforts. As a national sponsor in 2007, Hyatt helped Jumpstart obtain its goal of breaking the world record for the largest shared reading experience by having more than 100 hotels in North America participate. Hyatt Gold Passport members had the option to redeem 5,000 points in exchange for a $40 donation to Jumpstart. Jumpstart received more than $12,000 from the generosity of the Hyatt Gold Passport membership.

Jumpstart’s longstanding relationships with its national multi-year partners are a key component of its ongoing efforts to help at-risk children develop their language, literacy, and social skills in preparation for kindergarten. With support from Jumpstart’s sponsor and founding partner, Pearson, as well as American Eagle Outfitters, Hanna Andersson, LeapFrog, Penguin Young Readers Group, Sodexo and XM Satellite Radio, this year promises to be another record-breaking event.

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About Global Hyatt Corporation

About Jumpstart

Jumpstart is a national early education organization that works toward the day every child in America enters school prepared to succeed. Through extraordinary attention in yearlong one-to-one relationships, Jumpstart inspires children to learn, adults to teach, families to get involved, and communities to progress together. Headquartered in Boston, Jumpstart pairs 3,500 trained adults one-to-one with preschool children in need of assistance. During the 2007-2008 program year, Jumpstart is serving 13,000 children across 20 states, in partnership with 300 early learning centers and nearly 70 universities and colleges throughout the country.

Jumpstart’s national sponsors include American Eagle Outfitters, AmeriCorps, Pearson, Sodexo and Starbucks. Jumpstart is the recipient of the Fast Company/Monitor Social Capitalist Award (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008) and the Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy’s Directors Award. For more information, visit the Jumpstart Web site at www.jstart.org.


Lori Alexander
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts