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Disney and ABC Raise Awareness of the Importance of Reading with Nonprofit First Book Though ‘Magic of Storytelling’ Campaign

February 18, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

GLENDALE, CA  Today, Disney announced that it will donate its 50 millionth book to First Book, a nonprofit that provides new books to educators and organizations serving children from low-income families. To celebrate this milestone, Disney and ABC are inviting consumers to join the fourth annual Magic of Storytelling campaign through a number of activities between now and March 31, 2016, including the first annual Disney Reads Day on February 6, 2016.

The Magic of Storytelling campaign is a collaboration between Disney Publishing Worldwide and Disney|ABC Television Group to help First Book put brand new books into the hands of children in communities nationwide. The campaign features a public service announcement, special events, an extensive media campaign, social media activations and a 50-State online challenge.

The inaugural Disney Reads Day on February 6 will kick off four weeks of events and special promotions at participating retailers and other organizations, including story time events at Disney Store’s 180 U.S. locations, to raise awareness of the importance of reading.

The Magic of Storytelling campaign celebrates all the ways that a love for reading benefits a child’s life. We’re tremendously grateful to have a partner in Disney that shares these same beliefs,” said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book. “This year is especially thrilling as Disney donates its 50 millionth book through First Book. We hope communities nationwide join us in our efforts to raise awareness of the importance of reading.”

The Magic of Storytelling campaign will feature a public service announcement (PSA) voiced by Steven Spielberg, Director of The Walt Disney Studios upcoming film adaptation of “The BFG,” based on the beloved book by Roald Dahl, coming to theaters on July 1, 2016. Created to celebrate storytelling and underscore the importance of reading, the PSA will be shared with audiences across Disney including ABC affiliate stations, ABC Network, ABC Family (soon to be renamed Freeform on January 12, 2016), Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, Disney Store, Disney Cruise Line and Disney Resorts’ TVs, the ABC Watch app, and more. Additionally, each local ABC-owned station will donate 5,000 books to their local communities through schools and organizations in their respective markets.

“Storytelling is at the heart of everything we do,” said Leslie Ferraro, co-chair, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media and president, Disney Consumer Products. “Great stories change lives, unleash imaginations and foster creativity. We are incredibly proud of our ongoing, long-standing partnership with First Book and the work they have done to bring books to kids in need, and we look forward to sharing the Magic of Storytelling and Disney Reads Day with families and fans.”

Consumers are encouraged to participate and share the magic of storytelling through a number of ways:

  • In-Store Events: Consumers are invited to celebrate Disney Reads Day at Disney Store locations and other select retailers nationwide. Participating locations will feature family-friendly events and activities, including story time. A full list of all Disney Store locations and participating retailers is available at firstbook.org/BeInspired.
  • Book Donation: For each eligible book consumers purchase at a Disney Store or other participating locations on February 6, 2016, a book will be donated to an organization in the region where the purchase was made, up to 250,000 books. A full list of all Disney Store locations and participating retailers is available at firstbook.org/BeInspired.
  • Social Media: Consumers can also participate by posting a “shelfie” – a selfie with a favorite book or in front of a bookshelf. For each shelfie posted to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #MagicOfStorytelling, First Book will direct a book donated by Disney to an organization in need, up to 500,000 books.
  • Digital Activation: Through March 31, 2016, consumers can visit firstbook.org/BeInspired to vote online to win a donation of books for kids in need in their state.

To learn more about the Magic of Storytelling campaign and Disney Reads Day, please visit Firstbook.org/BeInspired.

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First Book
First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed more than 135 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families through the United States and Canada. By making new, high-quality books available on an ongoing basis, First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education. For more information, visit firstbook.org or follow the latest news on Facebook and Twitter.

About Disney Publishing Worldwide
Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW) is the world’s largest publisher of children’s books, magazines, and apps, igniting imagination through storytelling in ever-inventive ways. DPW creates and publishes books and magazines both vertically in-house and through an extensive worldwide licensing structure. As a leader in digital products, DPW creates best-selling eBook titles and best-in-class original apps. DPW is also committed to the educational development of children around the world through Disney Learning, which includes Disney Imagicademy, as well as Disney English and other Disney-themed learning products. Headquartered in Glendale, California, DPW publishes books, magazines and digital products in 85 countries in 75 languages. For more information, visit www.disneypublishing.com.

Disney/ABC Television Group
The Disney/ABC Television Group is composed of The Walt Disney Company’s (NYSE: DIS) global entertainment and news television properties, cable networks, owned television stations, and radio stations. This includes ABC Entertainment Group, ABC News, ABC Owned Television Stations, Disney Channels Worldwide, and ABC Family (soon to be renamed Freeform on January 12, 2016), as well as Disney/ABC Domestic Television and Disney Media Distribution.


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