Four Leading Publishers Join Books for Asia to Reach Two Million Children in Need

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Scholastic Inc. kicks off Storytime in Asia campaign with 100,000 books.

The Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia program today launches Storytime in Asia, a month-long campaign that celebrates the transformative power of children’s books by providing critically needed reading material to some of the world’s poorest students. More than 1,700 in-need schools serving two million children across 17 countries in developing Asia are expected to benefit from the campaign, bringing together an extraordinary coalition of world-class children’s book publishers – Scholastic; Penguin Young Readers Group; Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; and ABRAMS – and a leading international shipping company, Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL).

In a region that is home to 66 percent of the world’s illiterate population, colorful books that feed the imagination and inspire learning are essential to achieving early childhood literacy and the education of Asia’s next generation. Unfortunately, children’s books are often unavailable or prohibitively expensive for the vast number of families and schools in developing Asia.

In response to this critical need, Books for Asia has brought together four outstanding children’s book publishers – who will each donate a large number of English-language children’s books – under the Storytime in Asia initiative. Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, is a long-time supporter of global literacy as demonstrated by its “Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life” campaign. Scholastic’s lead donation of 100,000 books marks its first-ever direct donation to Books for Asia and includes iconic books such as Clifford the Big Red Dog®, The Magic School Bus®, and Goosebumps®.

Penguin Young Readers Group will contribute modern classics such as Llama Llama Home with Mama, The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, and Skippyjon Jones. Along with donations of popular titles such as Wabi Sabi, Reading Makes You Feel Good, and Ling and Ting, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers will support the campaign on social media through Storytime in Asia-themed messages by beloved authors Todd Parr and Grace Lin. And Abrams, one of the pre-eminent publishers of high-quality art and illustrated books, will contribute charming titles such as Mama, Is It Summer Yet? and It's Your First Day of School, Annie Claire.

OOCL, one of the world’s leading container shipping companies well recognized for supporting educational and community outreach efforts, will underwrite transportation costs to countries receiving the books across the region.

Storytime in Asia will feature impact photos and videos from across Books for Asia locations in 17 countries across its multimedia, online, and social media platforms. The campaign kicks off at on August 13 and culminates on the week of September 3 to 8 with Books for Asia-sponsored International Literacy Day events throughout Asia.

One of the longest-running and most effective programs of its kind, Books for Asia provides brand-new books and educational materials to schools, universities, research institutes, and public libraries in 19 developing countries. Each year, Books for Asia donates approximately 1 million books and reaches an estimated 9 million people.

Join us and help deliver these books to the children who need them most! Individuals, groups, publishers, and others can help Books for Asia provide books to under-resourced schools and libraries in a number of ways:

1. Make a donation through the Books for Asia Fund.
2. Organize a book drive for additional donations of new books.
3. Purchase “book baskets” via the “Choose Books and Change Lives” initiative with San Francisco independent bookstore Green Apple Books.
4. Publishers can donate directly to Books for Asia.

For more information, visit

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization committed to the development of a peaceful, prosperous, just, and open Asia-Pacific region. The Foundation supports Asian initiatives to improve governance and law, economic development, women's empowerment, the environment, and regional cooperation. Drawing on nearly 60 years of experience in Asia, the Foundation collaborates with private and public partners to support leadership and institutional development, exchanges, and policy research.

With 17 offices throughout Asia, an office in Washington, DC, and its headquarters in San Francisco, the Foundation addresses these issues on both a country and regional level. In 2011, the Foundation provided more than $97 million in program support and distributed nearly one million books and journals valued at over $41 million.

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