PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A total of 240 Pittsburgh pre-schoolers gathered in the West Lounge of Heinz Field Thursday morning.

In an event sponsored by PNC Bank, they hoped to set a Guinness World Record for literacy.

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“We’ve got students, teachers, volunteers, all to attempt the official record for the largest vocabulary lesson in multiple venues,” said Guinness Book representative Nicole Pando.

Teachers read to small groups from a picture book called “Mr. Tiger Goes Wild.” At the same time, they’re introduced to words they might not have known, like “wilderness.”

There’s a strict 30 minute time limit.

And it’s not just happening here. Though Pittsburgh is the center of the Guinness Book vocabulary attempt, it’s just one of 37 cities across the country taking part in the same event at the same time. Participants are hoping for at least 4,000 readers.

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Mr. Tiger was dreamed up by award winning author/illustrator Peter Brown of Brooklyn. He admits creating a picture book is not as easy as it may appear.

“Being able to tell a story with pictures, and kind of leaving a lot of gaps in the text so that the pictures can do the heavy lifting, that’s stuff that you only learn through experience,” he says.

Decked out in top hats and clutching tiger masks, pint-size participants gather for the big news.

With five of the 37 precincts reporting, Nicole Pando announces, “So far, with 1,031, it is a new Guinness World Record!”

And the crowd goes wild – just like Mr. Tiger.

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