LeVar Burton, David Arquette, Tim Gunn and Ariel Winter help unveil nationwide program
Disney and First Book will provide for the donation of up to 1 million books to U.S. communities in need and will present families with free digital books from Disney Publishing Worldwide, through a new program: Disney Junior's "Give a Book, Get a Book."
Storytelling is the foundation of the initiative, which is 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 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. Disney Junior's "Give a Book, Get a Book" also includes public service announcements, free storytime events at Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Disney Store locations, and interactive Radio Disney events.
The program was announced by Nancy Kanter, Disney Junior Worldwide executive vice president and general manager and First Book board member Dr. Martha Bernadett during the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration at the Disneyland Resort.
"With each and every one of our Disney Junior series, we let a child experience the magic and learning that comes with a story well told, and deepen the emotional connection and sense of wonder and adventure that have defined storytelling at the Disney company for generations," Kanter said. "The 'Give a Book, Get a Book' program is a way for families to share stories and enter the world of giving in a simple yet effective way."
Coinciding with the program announcement, lifelong children's literacy advocate LeVar Burton, cofounder and curator-in-chief of the award-winning Reading Rainbow app, spoke about the importance of building literacy and of storytelling in the digital age. Disney Junior stars Ariel Winter and Tim Gunn (of "Sofia the First") and David Arquette (of "Jake and the Never Land Pirates") also participated in a storybook reading for event attendees and their families. Genevieve Goings (of Disney Junior's "Choo Choo Soul"), who hosts the "Give a Book, Get a Book" public service announcements on Disney Channel, emceed the event.
"There are few things more powerful than stories to connect children to the world and help them imagine what they can become," said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book. "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."
Families can now take advantage of an all-new website, GiveaBookGetaBook.com, featuring tools and resources for parents and caregivers that promote the value of storytelling and offer interactive activities.
Beginning April 21 in Disney Store locations and later this summer at other nationwide retailers, there are two ways to "Give a Book, Get a Book." For a limited time, with the purchase of any specially marked Disney Junior book or product, receipts or packaging will include a redemption code allowing kids and families to direct the donation of a book to First Book in the region of their choice and to access a free Disney Digital Book to share as a family. Additionally, "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 U.S., Disney and First Book will donate up to 1 million books through this program.
Also 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." In addition to the in-store readings, 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.