Penguin Group and the Pearson Foundation Launch We Give Books to Help Donate One Million Books to Leading Literacy Campaigns Worldwide
20 April 2010
We Give Books Poll of Parents and Teens Underscores Benefits of Shared Experiences in Developing a Life of Giving
Washington, DC – April 20, 2010 – Penguin Group and the Pearson Foundation today announced the launch of We Give Books, a new digital initiative that enables anyone with access to the Internet to put books in the hands of children who don't have them, simply by reading online. The free website gives parents, caregivers, and educators immediate access to a growing digital collection of Penguin Group’s classic children’s literature. For every book read online, the Pearson Foundation will donate a book to a child in partnership with one of the exemplary international, national, and local literacy organizations presented at www.wegivebooks.org.
We Give Books aims to donate more than one million books in the initiative’s first year. Visitors to the site will determine the volume shared with each organization, because each time parents and young people read a new book, they have the opportunity to select the organization they wish their reading to support.
In this way, We Give Books creates shared experiences among parents and their young children that have the potential to impact a life of giving – a correlation supported by a research poll of parents and teenagers commissioned by Penguin Group and the Pearson Foundation, the results of which were also announced today. The poll was developed with the input of leading experts in pro-social research and philanthropy.
Among its many findings related to parents and giving, the "We Give Books Poll on Raising Future Philanthropists," highlights the clear interest among parents (90%) to raise children who become giving adults. It also shows that 68% of parents believe a strong connection exists between reading to children and their later becoming charitable adults. Yet the poll also reveals that many parents may not know how reading and specific daily parenting practices can achieve this goal.
In its survey of teenagers, the We Give Books Poll found that self-identified teen "givers" (45%) are much more likely than other teens (35%) to say that they were read to as a child on a "daily" basis. Teen "givers" are also much more likely than other teens to say that reading "helped them believe that they could make a difference and understand how their actions affected others." While the majority of parents (84%) clearly understand the value of reading for school performance, the We Give Books Poll shows that the majority of parents do not realize that reading to children can also teach how "they can make a difference" and "understand the importance of helping others."
In addition to reading, teens identified through the poll as "givers" were more likely to highlight their parents’
Discussing their own charitable and volunteer efforts in detail;
Explaining how the child can help people by his or her actions;
Speaking about the volunteering and charity they do;
Talking to the child about how their actions make other people feel;
Discussing goals, encouraging opinions, telling the child they were proud of him or her; and
Explaining the importance of giving to others
as key factors that influenced their ongoing commitment to helping others. The "We Give Books Poll on Raising Future Philanthropists" suggests that both the content of and the frequency in communication are critical in influencing children to become future givers. (For full findings, see www.pearsonfoundation.org/wegivebookspoll.)
As part of the launch of We Give Books, the Pearson Foundation and Penguin Group announced an initial set of seven exemplary literacy organizations whose work benefits children throughout the United States and around the world – organizations on whose behalf parents and their children can help share books at the We Give Books website. These organizations’ literacy campaigns focus on locations recently touched by disaster and in the greatest need of aid. They include:
The Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia program – www.asiafoundation.org
The Los Angeles County Office of Education’s Million Word Challenge – www.millionwordchallenge.org
The NEA Foundation’s Books Across America program – www.neafoundation.org
Room to Read – www.roomtoread.org
The United Through Reading Military Program – www.unitedthroughreading.org
Volunteer USA’s Family Literacy Academies – www.volunteerusa.org
World Vision’s Early Childhood Development Learning Spaces program – www.worldvision.org
"At Penguin, we have always believed in the power of reading," said John Makinson, Chairman and Chief Executive of the Penguin Group. "We Give Books is a very simple concept that encourages people to enjoy some of our best-loved books and, at the same time, to share books with others and help to tackle illiteracy, one of the biggest challenges we face around the world today."
"We Give Books gives parents an opportunity to read with their children, and its innovation is that it surrounds reading with those important conversations that can start a young person on a life of giving," said Pearson Foundation President Mark Nieker. "In addition to this important connection, We Give Books also links young readers and their parents directly to causes that benefit other children around the world. We hope everyone will take part in – and enjoy – We Give Books."
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About the Penguin Group
Penguin Group is one of the world’s premier global consumer trade book publishers, with key market positions in the United States, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, Canada, India, China, New Zealand, and Ireland. The Penguin Group (www.penguin.com) is part of Pearson plc, the international media company.
About the Pearson Foundation
The Pearson Foundation extends Pearson’s (NYSE: PSO) commitment to education by partnering with leading nonprofit, civic, and business organizations to provide financial, organizational, and publishing assistance across the globe. The Foundation aims to make a difference by sponsoring innovative educational programs and extending its educational expertise to help in classrooms and in local communities. More information on the Pearson Foundation can be found at www.pearsonfoundation.org.
About We Give Books
We Give Books (www.wegivebooks.org) is a new philanthropic program from Penguin and the Pearson Foundation that helps your child become a lifelong reader and giver. Together, we support literacy through programs that engage entire communities. Working around the world through programs like Booktime and Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, Penguin and the Pearson Foundation have touched millions of lives in thousands of communities.
This survey was conducted online within the United States from March 30, 2010, to April 5, 2010, among parents 18+ (with children in the household) and teens 13 through 18 years of age. Data for this survey was collected by Harris Interactive Service Bureau ("HISB") on behalf Pearson Foundation and Penguin Group. HISB was responsible for the data collected and weighting, and Pearson Foundation and Penguin were responsible for the survey design, data analysis, and reporting. (To see the full poll, including methodology and advisory board, visit www.pearsonfoundation.org/wegivebookspoll)
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Amy C. Terpeluk
Tel: (212) 583-2792
Cell: (917) 826-2326