SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly 45,000 children's books donated nationwide as part of the "Books Across America" campaign in May will be delivered into the hands of children in need this summer through an effort by First 5 California, "The Dr. Oz Show," UPS, Scholastic, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
The campaign, which collected new and gently used books for children ages 0-5 at more than 3,200 The UPS Store locations nationwide, was inspired by First 5 California's Talk. Read. Sing.® public service media campaign, which encourages parents and caregivers to verbally interact with children from birth which, research shows, fosters in brain development.
"The need for these books is critical. Currently, 61 percent of low-income families in the United States have no age-appropriate books in their homes, and fewer than 48 percent of young children in the United States are read to daily. With 'Books Across America,' we are helping to change those statistics for the better," said First 5 California Executive Director Camille Maben.
The books donated during the week-long collection, May 25-31, will be distributed to families via 740 participating WIC clinics across the country in partnership with the National WIC Association. Scholastic, the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books, educational, and entertaining children's media, kicked off the campaign with a donation of 1,000 new books.
"It was so nice to have books to distribute to the children who participate in our program. For many of them, this will be the first book that they own," said Dorothy Monica, Director at the St. Joseph WIC Program in Paterson, New Jersey.
The book drive was announced on "The Dr. Oz Show" during a segment featuring George Halvorson, Chair of the First 5 California Commission, who appeared on the show to discuss the importance of reading to children during their early years.
"The first three years of life are particularly critical for mental stimulation through talking, reading, and singing, which helps billions of neurons inside the brain make strong connections that last a lifetime," said Halvorson. "The importance of reading, and other types of verbal engagement, particularly during early years, can set our children on a life trajectory for success."
About Books Across America:
The nationwide book giveaway is a collaborative effort between "The Dr. Oz Show," UPS, First 5 California, Fraser Communications, and the National WIC Association to get as many books into the hands of families with children ages 0 to 5 as possible. Many low-income families in our country do not have the means to purchase age-appropriate books for the home, therefore Books Across America called upon the public to donate. Nearly 45,000 books were donated and distributed.
More information about Books Across America partners:
First 5 California: www.ccfc.ca.gov
The Dr. Oz Show: http://www.doctoroz.com/
Fraser Communications: www.frasercommunications.com
National WIC Association: www.nwica.org
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SOURCE First 5 California