Cheerios’ reading program puts 5 million books on grocery shelves

MINNEAPOLIS For the sixth year running, Cheerios is putting 5 million children’s books inside boxes of Cheerios cereal as part of its Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program, which kicked off Monday for National Children’s Book Week, Nov. 12-18.

The company is once again working with First Book, an award-winning children’s literacy non-profit, to give a year’s worth of children’s books to 50 reading programs serving disadvantaged children throughout the United States. Over the past six years, Cheerios, a General Mills company, has donated more than $2.5 million to support First Book.

This year’s book offering from Cheerios feature five titles from Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing: “The New Girl ... And Me” by Jacqui Robbins; “Everybody Needs a Rock” by Byrd Baylor; “Things that are most in the world by Judi Barrett”; “Do YOU Have a Hat?” by Eileen Spinelli; and “Jakers! Piggley’s Treasure Hunt” adapted by Catherine Lucas. “The New Girl . . . and Me” will be specially printed in both English and Spanish. The books are written for children ages 3 to 8.

One of the paperback books will be available inside each Cheerios cereal box marked “Spoonfuls of Stories,” which will be available on shelves until early spring 2008. The books are specially sized to fit inside the cereal boxes and feature original content and illustrations. Families can seek which book is inside the box through a special cut-out window so they can pick the book they want or collect all five titles. The boxes also will feature information on how to make an online donation to First Book.

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