We Give Books Announces New “Million Book Challenge”

31 May 2012

Pearson Foundation and Penguin celebrate the reading and giving of one million books, challenging readers to read another million in half the time

CHICAGO – May 31, 2012 – We Give Books announced that its readers have met the challenge, issued in 2010, of reading one million digital books at wegivebooks.org. In doing so, the Pearson Foundation has donated an equal number of brand-new hardcover and paperback books to nonprofits, schools, and community organizations around the world. Today, at the Cause Marketing Forum, We Give Books announced details of a new reading and giving goal. The We Give Books “Million Book Challenge” asks adults and children to read and give another million books at We Give Books in half the time. The initiative’s creators—the Pearson Foundation and Penguin—aim to celebrate this new milestone on May 1, 2013, at the International Reading Association Convention to be held in San Antonio, TX.

Since 2010, We Give Books has shared its growing digital library of new and classic children’s books with more than 130,000 registered readers, providing immediate access to classic titles such as The Snowy Day and best-sellers such as Llama Llama Red Pajama to parents, families, teachers, and anyone with access to the Internet. With each book read online, the Pearson Foundation donates a corresponding hardcover or paperback book to a designated nonprofit partner. Visitors to wegivebooks.org can read anytime and anywhere they like. They can also learn more about great literacy organizations and reading initiatives and direct the Pearson Foundation’s donations to these efforts.

Throughout 2012, We Give Books will continue to help essential nonprofit partners to encourage reading and to share books with young people in classrooms and community organizations around the world. Already this year, We Give Books’ Read for My School campaign brought attention to the importance of supporting public schools, helping readers donate 150,000 books to schools of their choice in just five days. Similarly, We Give Books’ Read for My Summer campaign will draw attention to the challenge of summer learning loss by offering children ages 5-to-8 the ability to read online in a special summer reading initiative. Recently, the We Give Books ReadMobile set out across the United States to celebrate readers who have taken part in important literacy campaigns.

While helping to meet the new Million Book Challenge, We Give Books readers will be focusing special attention on vital literacy initiatives—including this year’s Jumpstart’s Read for the Record. Now in its seventh year, Read for the Record is presented in partnership with the Pearson Foundation to highlight the need for high-quality early education in America. We Give Books will be celebrating Read for the Record throughout a week of events culminating on the record-breaking day – October 4. Visit We Give Books to read the official book of the 2012 campaign, Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad by David Soman and Jacky Davis, and pledge to take part in the online celebration. Learn more at www.wegivebooks.org/readfortherecord.

“The mission of We Give Books is simple: you read a book and we give a book,” said Pearson Foundation President and CEO Mark Nieker. “We have been overwhelmed by the response and commitment to this work; we look forward to the journey ahead, to continuing to support great non-profit partners, and to what the next million books will be.”

About the Pearson Foundation

The Pearson Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, extends Pearson’s 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 philanthropic program from the Penguin Group and the Pearson Foundation that helps children become a lifelong readers and givers. We Give Books supports 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.

Media Contact:

Stacey Finkel
Pearson Foundation