News

New program helps kids explore how they can make a difference

| Feb 20, 2018

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Kiwanis International is excited to partner with Penguin Random House, the largest trade-book publisher, to launch Read and Lead.

The exclusive program was created for Kiwanis K-Kids clubs in the United States, and features literacy kits from Penguin Random House designed to help children understand societal issues, and ways they can make a difference through service. The literacy kits feature titles from the two children’s publishing divisions of Penguin Random House: Penguin Young Readers (PYR) and Random House Children’s Books (RHCB).  As part of the partnership, Penguin Random House will donate an additional 500 books to Kiwanis to support clubs’ efforts relating to literacy and early education.

The Read and Lead program offers five literacy kits that focus on standalone themes, ranging from bullying to the environment. Each kit contains a curated selection of books from PYR and RHCB, in addition to educational materials that empower K-Kids club members ages 9-12 to create impactful service projects based on each theme. Read and Lead kits start at $55, are available in two sizes.

The complete list of Read and Lead kits includes:

  • Bullying Prevention — features books that highlight kindness, compassion and empathy as the way to tackle bullying at its core. Contains titles from authors including Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, Paul Griffin, Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me, and Vince Vawter’s Paperboy.
  • The Environment — students learn how even the smallest personal actions affect the environment and their community. Contains titles from authors including Chelsea Clinton, Jean Craighead George, Jeanne DuPrau’s The City of Ember, and Shelley Pearsall.
  • Literacy — includes books that show kids the importance of reading and how it can change lives. Contains titles from authors including Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Chris Grabenstein’s Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, Bob Buyea, and Django Wexler.
  • Hunger — aimed at allowing students to step into the shoes of those dealing with food insecurity while teaching empathy and compassion. Contains titles from authors including Patricia Reilly Giff’s Nory Ryan’s Song, William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, and Richard Peck.
  • Ordinary People Change the World — a kit dedicated to Brad Meltzer’s acclaimed Ordinary People Change the World series explore the traits of ordinary people throughout history who have changed the world...and how we can all be heroes.

Adrienne Waintraub, Executive Director of School & Library Marketing at Penguin Random House, said of the partnership, “Kiwanis International’s motto of ‘serving the children of the world’ aligns so well with our publishing opportunities, as we continually strive to enrich children’s lives through literature. With this exciting inaugural program, we look forward to offering Kiwanis Kids – and their adult leaders – books that reinforce the group’s important focus on leadership, improved self-esteem, and civic reasonability.”

“Read and Lead is an exclusive program for K-Kids, who are eager for information about how they can make a difference in their community and in their world,” said Stan Soderstrom, executive director, Kiwanis International. “Our K-Kids program seeks to help our young people find opportunities to volunteer and build character while becoming future leaders who can identify situations and solve problems at school and in their communities.  

About Penguin Young Readers
Penguin Young Readers (www.penguin.com) is one of the leading children's book publishers in the United States. The company owns a wide range of imprints and trademarks including Dial Books, Dutton, Grosset & Dunlap, Kathy Dawson Books, Nancy Paulsen Books, Penguin Workshop, Philomel, Puffin, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, Viking, Razorbill, Speak, and Frederick Warne. These imprints are home to such award-winning, New York Times- bestselling authors as, Laurie Halse Anderson, Judy Blume, Jan Brett, Eric Carle, Ally Condie, Roald Dahl, Tomie dePaola, Sarah Dessen, Anna Dewdney, John Flanagan, John Green, Oliver Jeffers, Marie Lu, Mike Lupica, Richelle Mead, Richard Peck, Ruta Sepetys, Jacqueline Woodson and dozens of other popular authors. Penguin Young Readers is also the proud publisher of perennial brand franchises such as the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series, Peter Rabbit, Spot, the Classic Winnie the Pooh, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Madeline, Mad Libs, the Rangers Apprentice, Skippyjon Jones, Who Was?, and Flower Fairies among many others. Penguin Young Readers is a division of Penguin Group LLC, a Penguin Random House company.

About Random House Children’s Books
Random House Children’s Books (rhcbooks.com) is the world’s largest English-language children’s trade book publisher. Creating books for toddlers through young adult readers, in all formats from board books to activity books to picture books, novels, and nonfiction, the imprints of Random House Children’s Books bring together award-winning authors and illustrators, world-famous franchise characters, and multimillion-copy series. Random House Children’s Books is a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

About Kiwanis
Founded in 1915, Kiwanis International is a global organization of clubs and members dedicated to serving the children of the world. Kiwanis and its family of clubs, including Circle K International for university students, Key Club for students age 14–18, Builders Club for students age 11–14, K-Kids for students age 6–12 and Aktion Club for adults living with disabilities, annually dedicate more than 18.5 million service hours to strengthen communities and serve children. The Kiwanis International family comprises nearly 558,000 adult and youth members in more than 82 countries and geographic areas. Visit kiwanis.org for more information.

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