This week Disney Junior launched a new program aimed at spreading the joy of reading to children who have little to no access to books through its “Give A Book, Get A Book” program. I was introduced to the program during the Disney Social Media Moms Conference at Disneyland earlier this month at a breakfast event that included a hearing from a man whose life mission has been dedicated to encouraging children to read — LeVar Burton of Reading Rainbow.
Something about seeing someone I watched on TV as a child still doing the same great work 30 years later – I am not gonna lie, I got all emotional. He was my childhood hero. And there he was talking about his respect for his mom, and moms in general and the importance of moms teaching their children about the wonders of reading. Shoot – I am one of those moms now, but I felt like a kid seeing him up there.
Butterfly in the sky I can go twice as high Take a look It’s in a book A Reading Rainbow…
Give A Book, Get A Book
Through a partnership with First Book, Disney’s Give A Book, Get A Book program will provide for the donation of up to one million books to U.S. communities in need, and present families with free digital books from Disney Publishing Worldwide.
During the Give A Book, Get A Book program, families will have the opportunity to redeem a code to have a book donated to the community of their choice, plus receive access to a free digital book for their family. Redemption codes will be given with the purchase of specially-marked Disney Junior books and products.
In addition to codes on specially marked Disney Junior products, 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.
With the help of families across the United States, Disney and First Book will donate up to one million books to help children discover reading.
LeVar wasn’t the only celebrity on hand to talk about the new program. Genevieve Goings, the sassy train conductor from Choo Choo Soul (on Disney Junior) with the best smile, led the moms is chorus of Choo Choo Soul’s theme song.
And then we were treated to an extra special story time with celebrity readers. David Arquette, the voice of Skully on Jake and the Never Land Pirates; Ariel Winter, the voice of Sofia from Sofia the First; and Tim Gunn, the voice of Baileywick from Sofia the First took turns reading “Mickey and the Beanstalk” to the families in attendance. (And I was lucky enough to get front row seats.)
And finally, to emphasize the importance of building literacy and of storytelling in the digital age LeVar Burton read to us — from the Reading Rainbow Appon an iPad. Since people who participate in the Give A Book, Get A Book program receive digital books, I loved LeVar’s reading that showed us a book is still a book regardless of how it is printed with ink on paper or pixels on a screen.
It was a pretty amazing morning, but the best part is that all of these people came together for one purpose — to help cultivate childhood literacy. So keep your eyes peeled for those specially-marked Disney Junior books and merchandise and don’t forget to redeem those codes. Together we will help donate up to one million books to children in need, and one million more digital books will end up in the hands of our children. That’s a lot of kids reading, and that’s a good thing.