KERN COUNTY, Calif. — 23ABC is teaming up with the Kern Literacy Council to put books in the hands of local children through Disney's "Magic of Storytelling" campaign.
"We’re really excited to be getting these free books and to get them out into the county because the magic of storytelling dovetails right into the magic of reading aloud," said executive director Laura Lollar Wolfe.
Wolfe said reading aloud is crucial for children.
“Reading aloud just 15 minutes a day to any child, I mean, for sure when they’re learning to read, but even after they’ve mastered reading, if they’re reading aloud, it just makes a difference in school success," she said.
Through this campaign with the Walt Disney Company, 23ABC will give 500 books to the Kern Literacy Council who will then disperse the books to those who need them most.
Wolfe said this is especially helpful during the pandemic.
“If you have books, you can travel anywhere. So you feel like you're locked down and you’re stuck in your house, but you’re really not. You can open a book and go to any country. You can learn about other people. You could envision yourself as president, as a supreme court justice," she said.
Disney is collaborating with the nonprofit First Book for this campaign. First Book focuses on education equality and giving educators resources they need.
Educators can sign up to get free or low cost books, and community members can donate money to provide those resources.
“A lot of our lower income parents do not have access to books. You’ll hear educators talk and if they go do visits at home, hardly any books," said Wolfe. "Just having them, just having the idea of, like, 'I can go grab a book if I want to, and books are important and reading is important.'”
Wolfe hopes this campaign helps spread the joy of reading to every child in Kern County.
“We want to just inspire kids’ imaginations and get them thinking that they can do anything," she said.
Each week Disney will release story time videos with reading tips. You can click here to participate in this campaign.