May 6, 2013
New video & online fundraiser calls on supporters to “Be a Pal. Give $20 for 20.”
LOS ANGELES (May 6, 2013) –The Screen Actors Guild Foundation is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its signature children’s literacy program BookPALS (Performing Artists for Literacy in Schools). Founded by actor Barbara Bain (Mission Impossible) and the SAG Foundation, BookPALS is based on the premise that children would read more if only they saw the potential in books and who better to bring the magic of stories to life than performers.
“Every child wants to imagine things, to hear things. The more they’re exposed to, the more wonderous the world becomes,” says Barbara Bain, BookPALS founder.
From May 6-11, the SAG Foundation is commemorating “20 Years of BookPALS” with an online fundraiser encouraging supporters to “Be a Pal. Give $20 for 20.” The Foundation is also releasing a new 20th anniversary BookPALS video and daily promo videos featuring BookPALS Barbara Bain, Octavia Spencer, Susan Sullivan, Lucas Cruikshank, Victory Van Tuyl, Vanessa Marano, Vincent Martella, Tobit Raphael and Fatima Ptacek.
On May 7 at 9:00 a.m. PT, the SAG Foundation will livestream a BookPALS reading with Kaitlyn Dever (Last Man Standing and Short Term 12) and Jonathan Morgan Heig (Jake and the Never Land Pirates) to be viewed in classrooms across the country. On May 11 at 9:45 a.m. PT, the SAG Foundation presents a free family event, Celebrity Storytime, at the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Throughout the week, the SAG Foundation’s BookPALS chapters will host several celebratory BookPALS readings nationwide.
“We are taking this week to celebrate 20 years of this important program and generate support both in donations and new volunteers in order to expand BookPALS. We want to be able to bring even more performers into more schools so that ultimately, we can serve more children,” says Jill Seltzer, executive director of the SAG Foundation.
Today, BookPALS serves more than 60,000 children in public schools, hospitals and social service agencies every month. Over 2,200 SAG-AFTRA performers regularly volunteer their time and talent to read aloud to kids in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Florida and Arizona. Over the last 20 years, BookPALS have read to more than two and a half million children.
“A lot of students don’t have a grown up that reads to them at home. It’s made a tremendous difference in my classroom,” says Jade Dunlap, third grade teacher at Crescent Heights Elementary School, Los Angeles, CA.
For more information on the SAG Foundation’s “20 Years of BookPALS” Celebration May 6-11, visit sagfoundation.org or contact Caroline O’Connor at 213-400-8401.