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Reads Books to Kids at Los Angeles Public Library to Benefit Reading Is Fundamental

Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar has teamed up with “The Nestlé Share the Joy of Reading Program” to raise awareness about the importance of children’s literacy and to encourage continued reading over the summer. Today, she visited the Los Angeles Public Library’s historic Central Library to read to children and share her love of reading. “The Nestlé Share the Joy of Reading Program” is donating up to $250,000 to Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) – the nation’s largest nonprofit children’s literacy organization – and consumers can help through everyday purchases of select Nestlé confections.

“As a mother and avid reader, I am excited to be participating in ‘The Nestlé Share the Joy of Reading Program’ to benefit Reading Is Fundamental,” said Sarah Michelle Gellar. “Reading has had an enormous, positive impact on my life and I encourage people to support organizations such as RIF that work to ignite a child’s hunger for knowledge and inspire imagination.”

RIF provides books and literacy resources to more than four million children nationwide each year, but government budget cuts and the economic downturn have taken their toll on the invaluable services the organization provides. Federal funding for RIF was not reinstated for fiscal year 2011 and the loss of the federal contract will have a critical impact on children and families nationwide. Now more than ever, it is important to give back to programs that are dedicated to supporting underserved children and their families.

In 2010, RIF provided more than 15 million books to children to keep as their own, but there are millions of children still in need of literary resources. Studies show that:

  • 61% of low-income families in the U.S. have no books in their homes
  • 80% of preschools and after-school programs serving low-income populations have no age-appropriate books for their children
  • 45% of children ages 3-5 do not and are not read to daily. Studies show that children whose parents read to them become better readers and perform better in school
  • 23% of public school 4th graders score below basic levels on reading exams. Increasing access to print material is the most successful way to improve the reading achievement of low-income children

As a company, Nestlé USA has a long standing history of supporting programs that benefit education and a corporate culture that values giving back to the community. For nearly 20 years, Nestlé has supported RIF by donating more than $6 million, which has helped hundreds of thousands of children to date.

How “The Nestlé Share the Joy of Reading Program” Works

Through this program, consumers can help a child receive a new book every time they open a variety of specially marked bags of NESTLE® candy – including NESTLE® CRUNCH®, BUTTERFINGER®, BABY RUTH®, 100 GRAND®, BUTTERFINGER CRISP®, WONKA® LAFFY TAFFY®, WONKA® NERDS®, WONKA® SWEETARTS® and WONKA® MIXUPS®. Each time a consumer enters a valid package promotion code on the inside of specially marked bags of Nestlé candy at the program’s website, Nestlé will donate $.10 to RIF. If the consumer is an instant winner, Nestlé will donate a book in the form of $2 to RIF, as well. Specially marked Nestlé bags are currently in stores nationwide and will be available through December 2011 or while supplies last. During that time, Nestlé will donate up to $250,000 to RIF– the more consumers play, the more money will be donated.

In addition to the RIF donation, “The Nestlé Share the Joy of Reading Program” also gives consumers the chance to be rewarded with a wide range of prizes. By simply entering the package promotion code, consumers have a chance to become an instant winner for which they’ll receive a $10 book certificate. Additionally, they’ll be entered into a monthly drawing for $5,000.

“Continuing our long-standing relationship with RIF is a core component of Nestlé’s commitment to communities across the country,” said Tricia Bowles, spokesperson, Nestlé USA Confections & Snacks. “Consumer enthusiasm and feedback on the ‘The Nestlé Share the Joy of Reading Program’ has been incredible, and we are happy to be giving them a chance to change a child’s life while also receiving some great benefits for themselves! It is truly a win-win program.”

Encouraging Summer Reading

Many studies have shown that young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. According to a report from the John Hopkins Center for Summer Learning, children lose approximately two months’ worth of learning over the summer. Reading throughout summer vacation is important to help kids maintain their skills and can be encouraged through simple tips such as setting reading time or going to the library once a week.

“Motivating young readers throughout the year is key to their future success and we must work to prevent summer reading loss, otherwise known as the ‘summer slide,’” said Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of RIF. “Nestlé’s ongoing support and commitment makes it possible for us to deliver the programs that help children become lifelong readers.”

For more information about “The Nestlé Share the Joy of Reading Program” please visit the official website at

About Nestlé USA

Named one of “The World’s Most Admired Food Companies” in Fortune magazine for fourteen consecutive years, Nestlé provides quality brands and products that bring flavor to life every day. From nutritious meals with Lean Cuisine® to baking traditions with Nestlé® Toll House®, Nestlé USA makes delicious, convenient, and nutritious food and beverage products that make good living possible. That’s what “Nestlé. Good Food, Good Life” is all about. Well-known Nestlé USA brands include: Nestlé® Toll House®, Nestlé® Nesquik®, Nestlé® Coffee-mate®, Stouffer’s®, Lean Cuisine®, HOT POCKETS® and LEAN POCKETS® brand sandwiches, Nescafé®, NESTLÉ® Juicy Juice®, Buitoni®, DREYER’S/EDY’S®, Nestlé® Crunch®, Nestlé® Butterfinger®, Wonka®, DIGIORNO®, TOMBSTONE® and CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN® frozen pizza. Nestlé USA, with 2010 sales of $10.4 billion, is part of Nestlé S.A. in Vevey, Switzerland — the world’s largest food company with a commitment to Nutrition, Health & Wellness — with 2010 sales of $105 billion.

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