Those of you who have been following the Lexicon for awhile know that one of the charities that we really like and have reported on over the years is the organization called “First Book”.
Their idea is that you just have to hook someone on the magic of one book and you have a reader for life. Their mission is to get books into the hands of kids to hook them on reading and the doors that reading opens up.
Jennie Garth, the wife of Peter Facinelli is leading the charge in a new campaign. Please check out First Book, it’s one of our very favorite organizations.
This fall, Cheerios®, through its Spoonfuls of Stories® program, is inviting families to start their day with a nutritious breakfast and a brand new book. As part of its ongoing commitment to nurturing the whole child and connecting families by fostering a shared love of reading, Cheerios will once again provide more than six million children’s books, written in both English and Spanish, free inside Cheerios boxes beginning today.
Cheerios is also announcing the findings of its national survey that asked moms of children ages two to six about the role reading plays in their daily lives. The survey found that although today’s moms are prioritizing reading – 67 percent read to their child at least once a day – nearly two-thirds (61 percent) say “busy schedules” prevent them from spending more time reading. Through Spoonfuls of Stories, Cheerios aims to celebrate all of the families who read together, while also encouraging those who do not yet read every day to pick up a book and start.
The survey also examined moms’ perceptions of one of the greatest barriers to literacy today – lack of access to books. In fact, a study* showed that while in middle income neighborhoods the ratio of books per child is 13 to 1, in low-income neighborhoods, the ratio is one age-appropriate book for every 300 children. According to the Cheerios survey, however, roughly four in ten moms do not think there is a drastic disparity between middle and lower-income neighborhoods in the U.S. when it comes to children’s access to books. Additionally, nine in ten moms believe that all kids have access to books through their local school and/or public library – a misconception this year’s Spoonfuls of Stories initiative hopes to address. In an effort to combat this issue, Cheerios will also make a $300,000 donation to First Book, an award-winning national nonprofit that helps get books into the hands of children from low-income families. Since 2001, Cheerios has donated more than $3.5 million to First Book.
“Parents play a key role in helping their children become readers. By putting books inside Cheerios boxes, we hope to inspire families to take a few minutes each day to enjoy a good book together,” said Meredith Tutterow, Cheerios marketing manager. “Through its Spoonfuls of Stories program, Cheerios hopes to increase children’s appetite for a good breakfast and a good book, paving the way for a productive day and a bright future.”
Actress and mother of three, Jennie Garth, has joined forces with Spoonfuls of Stories to celebrate the ninth year of the program and to discuss why she feels it is so important to find time to read with her own kids each day.
“As a mother of three inquisitive daughters, I know how important it is to take time out of our busy lives to read to our children on a daily basis and to instill this important ritual at a young age. Along with nearly forty percent of the moms surveyed by Cheerios, I too, was not aware that when it comes to children’s access to books, there is a drastic disparity between middle and lower income neighborhoods in the U.S.,” said Garth. “That’s why I’m thrilled to be a part of an initiative aiming to provide millions of families with access to wonderful children’s books and encouraging families to read together.”
Since Spoonfuls of Stories’ inception in 2001, Cheerios has distributed almost 50 million children’s books inside boxes. This year’s in-pack book offerings, appropriate for children ages three to eight and all from Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, are:
· All the World, by Liz Garton Scanlon and illustrated by Marla Frazee, discusses the many wonderful things a child can encounter in the world as well as the commonalities all the world shares.
· Chaucer’s First Winter, by Stephen Krensky and illustrated by Henry Cole, follows a bear named Chaucer, who knows he is supposed to sleep through the winter but feels it’s much more fun to stay up and play.
· Jump!, by Scott M. Fischer, chronicles the adventures of a bug, a frog, a cat, a hound, a crocodile, a shark, and a whale, who all love to jump!
· No T. Rex in the Library, by Toni Buzzeo and illustrated by Sachiko Yoshikawa, is a story about a little girl named Tess and her adventures in the library with a boisterous T-Rex.
· The Purple Kangaroo, by comedian Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Peter Brown, is a vivid and humor-filled story that tricks the reader into thinking about a purple kangaroo.
To learn more about the program, this year’s in-pack books or to donate to First Book, go to www.spoonfulsofstories.com.