Have you ever heard a statistic that seemed so unreal that you thought, “No way is that true!” That’s how I felt when I heard that in some impoverished neighborhoods, families had an average of .5 books in their home. After working for nearly a decade with that population, however, I’m sad to report that the statistic is true. Many of the public schools that I worked in didn’t have working libraries, and most of the teachers had to assign partners or teams to books because there wasn’t enough to go around. First Book, a non-profit organization that provides new books to children in need, recognized this problem, and has given over 100 million books to communities. That number will go up thanks to new partnership with First Book and Disney, and the “Give A Book, Get A Book” initiative.
The way Give A Book, Get A Book works is simple. When you purchase specially marked Disney Junior book or product, receipts or packaging will include a redemption code that will give you access to a free Disney Digital Book. You’ll also be able to select a region of the country to donate a free book to through First Book. Redemption codes will also be available on bookmarks that are distributed at participating public libraries and Radio Disney events all summer long. Disney and First Book will donate up to one million books through the Give a Book, Get a Book program.
Even with my experience working with children who had limited access to books, I still sometimes take my own child’s packed bookshelf for granted. At the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration where I learned about this great new initiative at a breakfast sponsored by Disney Jr., LeVar Burton said, “It’s just not okay to not educate our children”. He’s right. We should all be committed to making sure every child in the country has an opportunity to succeed, and literacy and books give them that chance.
Head over to the all-new website, GiveaBookGetaBook.com for interactive activities, tools and resources that promote the value of storytelling. You can also redeem your book code there if you have one, and decide where to donate your book.
There are few things more powerful than stories to connect children to the world and help them imagine what they can become. Yet, books and stories are in short supply for kids in need. That’s why we’re proud to be joining forces with our friends at Disney to put brand new books into the hands of children who so desperately need them. – Kyle Zimmer, President & CEO of First Book