Disney Sisters: "Give A Book, Get A Book" - Disney Junior Unveils New Program #DisneySMMoms

"Give A Book, Get A Book" - Disney Junior Unveils New Program #DisneySMMoms

"There are few things more powerful than stories to connect children to the world and help them imagine what they can become." 
~ Kyle Zimmer
(President and CEO of First Book)

On Saturday we attended a private Disney Junior event.
We knew that it was going to be exciting, but we didn't know who was going to show up or what they were going to say.

Do you want the good news or the bad news first?

The Good News
We heard lots of exciting news at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration last weekend, but one of the things that made our mama hearts feel good was that, one million books will be donated to U.S. children in need with a new program starting on April 21st. Give a Book, Get a Book a nationwide campaign that Disney Junior and First Book launched to help put brand new books into the hands of children who so desperately need them!

The Bad News
We found out some pretty alarming news such as, in some low income communities, there are as few as one book for every three hundred children? Whaaat? Reading and books are something that my family takes for granted, I mean our mom works at a book store for goodness sakes. But even just having material to read is a luxury for so many children. Let's do something about this!

Genevieve Goings, Singer and Actress
Much to our surprise while at breakfast, Genevieve Goings walked up on stage. You may not know her by name, buy you most likely know her by face. Your children know her as the cutest conductor at Choo Choo Soul on Disney Junior. She's a singing, dancing, teaching dynamo (triple threat much) who adds a little flavor to our mornings. She's the spokesperson for Give A Book, Get A Book so look for her on the commercials telling about it! All aboard, All aboard!

Nancy Kanter, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Disney Junior Worldwide
She was eager to share the news with us, "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." She continued, "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."

LeVar Burton, Actor, Advocate, & Reading Rainbow Legend
Coinciding with the program announcement, lifelong children's literacy advocate LeVar Burton, spoke about the importance of building literacy and of storytelling in the digital age. As soon as they played the theme song to Reading rainbow and LeVar came out, he may as well been George Clooney. The moms screamed with excitement! After all, LeVar read the stories of our childhood and his voice took us all back. He is a true literary icon and we all appreciated him being a part of the conference! One of our favorite quotes from him was when he said, "We have been sharing stories with each other since before the time of fire." Now THAT is a true testament to the power of storytelling!

Most of the younger generation (our kids) aren't very familiar with LeVar, so they also brought out some other very special guests. David Arquette, Tim Gunn, and Ariel Winter graced the stage, each holding a book in their hands. All three of these well known Disney Junior voice actors, participated in a storybook reading just for attendees and their families. 

David Arquette, Actor and Voice of Skully, Jake and the Never Land Pirates

Tim Gunn, Voice of Baileywick, Sofia the First

Ariel Winter, Actress and Voice of Sofia, Sofia the First

Here's how it works
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 United States, Disney and First Book will donate up to one 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 story time 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.

It was a day of true wonder and surprises! But isn't that what reading is all about? Reading is cool, and it brings people together. Just remember that at the start of every adventure (on paper or on the road ahead) the story begins with you.

Amazing images courtesy of Josh Hallett@hyku and used with permission. Thanks Josh!

Full Disclosure: We were invited to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. The Disneyland Resort offered a discounted rate for all attendees and their families. This is a once in a lifetime experience and we are grateful to Disney for allowing us to participate. We'll be sharing unique things seen and heard throughout the Celebration. Please keep in mind these our own personal thoughts and opinions, not those of the Walt Disney Company.

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