Reading is fundamental. That’s an adage that will always ring true. As a child, reading was my favorite subject. And because of my early exposure which helped me cultivate my love for reading, I decided to become a writer and later an AUTHOR of the children’s book, Goony Goo-Goo and Ga-Ga Too.
Reading is extremely important to me, but I know that there is a sector of children who don’t have access to books as readily as I did when I was growing up. In fact, in many low income communities, there is as little as 1 book for every 300 people? This country spends $300 trillion on defense, and leaves 300 people to share 1 book. Some communities don’t have libraries and the cost for a parent to catch a bus to a library or use up extra gas just to get there is just too troublesome for cash-strapped parents and their kids.
But this past week at the Disney Social Media Moms Conference I attended, Disney Junior announced its new Give a Book, Get a Book program in a big way as Disney Junior stars Ariel Winter and Tim Gunn (of “Sofia the First”) and David Arquette (of “Jake and the Never Land Pirates“) performed a storybook reading at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration in Anaheim, Calif.
It was an exciting day as families and children gathered around at the Disneyland Hotel to listen to the celebrity readers. They also enjoyed hearing a story read by LeVar Burton, children’s literacy advocate and Cofounder and Curator-in-Chief of the award-winning Reading Rainbow. Burton spoke about the importance of building literacy and of storytelling in the digital age.
I was super excited to see LeVar and grew up watching Reading Rainbow on PBS. Levar reads the the Disney Social Media Moms and kids in attendance (video courtesy of Dawn Cullo YouTube channel)
Through Give a Book, Get a Book, Disney will partner with First Book to provide for the donation of up to 1 million books to U.S. communities in need, and also present families with free digital books from Disney Publishing Worldwide. The program includes a redemption code offering a FREE Disney Digital book and a way for families to experience giving back by donating books to the community of their choice after purchasing a specially-marked Disney Junior book or product.
Starting APRIL 21st – Thru September 30th 2015, families can enter special codes at giveabookgetabook.com. Once you enter the code, two magical things will happen:
1) You GET a free Disney Junior digital book.
2) Disney will GIVE a book to a family in need!
Storytelling is the foundation of Give a Book, Get a Book, designed to inspire parents and caregivers to spend time each day sharing stories that help develop the critical thinking, vocabulary and language skills a preschooler needs. The initiative includes public service announcements, interactive Radio Disney events, and free story time events at Boys & Girls Clubs of America Disney Store locations, starting April 21.
Details are available at the new website, www.giveabookgetabook.com. Families can find online activities there and also access resources that promote the value of storytelling.
So How Do I Get a “special Code?”
1) Purchase specially marked Disney Junior products and books which include a redemption code.
2) Give a Book, Get a Book bookmarks with redemption codes will be distributed to visitors at participating public libraries and Radio Disney events throughout the summer.
3) Starting April 21, Disney Store locations will provide an enhanced interactive “Storytime Powered by Give a Book, Get a Book” featuring two new stories from Disney Junior favorites, “Sofia the First” and “Jake and the Never Land Pirates.” Children at these events will be given a free book along with a redemption code bookmark.
4) Disney Store locations will host special storytime events at Boys & Girls Clubs of America in multiple markets across the U.S. Children at these events will be given a free book along with a redemption code bookmark.
This is a simple way to help a child in a BIG way. GIVE A BOOK!
The Disney Blog contributed to this report.
(I was invited to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Conference, received a discounted conference rate and various gifts from sponsors. I was never asked to write a blog post. All fabulous opinions of this event are mine solely.)