More than 100 Disney VoluntEARS from Disneyland Resort and Disney Publishing Worldwide brought 40,000 children’s books to families, kids and educators to inspire reading through the summer months.
“How many families with three or four kids would be able to go to any bookstore and purchase multiple books for their children?” said Guadalupe Gomez, library services manager at Anaheim Public Library: Haskett Branch. “Giving our children and families books is so important to us… to be able to expand their literacy and love of reading.”
Since 2000, Disney has donated millions of books to First Book, a nonprofit organization that works to ensure educational equity by providing free and low-cost books, resources and other essentials to educators serving children in need. Thanks to collaboration with First Book, kids of all ages in Anaheim and beyond have brand-new books to read this summer, from five-minute Disney tales and bedtime storybooks to novels featuring favorite princesses, pirates and super heroes.
“Reading, libraries and volunteering are what really make a difference in our community,” said Anaheim Mayor Ashleigh Aitken. “A book can change a life, and libraries can be where that change happens. And volunteers, like those at Disney, can be the ones to make it all happen. It is heartwarming to see all of this come together for kids and families in our city.”
Disneyland Resort cast members from the HOLA Readers program – who visit third-grade students at Orange Grove Elementary School each year to host 12 weeks of learning, bilingual story time and career days – read stories in both English and Spanish to children throughout the morning. Juan Aldava, associate coordinator, Downtown Disney District, and longtime Disney VoluntEAR brought his five-year-old daughter, April, to join him for this special event.
“We’re excited to bring this to the community of Anaheim and beyond,” said Juan. “Disneyland is a huge part of Anaheim… to keep sharing the magic of what we do with the public and with our own families is huge.”
This event is supported by Disney Future Storytellers, The Walt Disney Company’s commitment to inspiring and empowering the next generation of diverse storytellers and innovators. With the help of organizations like First Book, Disney Future Storytellers is empowering the next generation to dream about their future, build their talents and skills, and become who they imagine they can be.
Take a look at more snapshots from the event!