Milk + Bookies’ 7th Annual Story Time Celebration is gearing up with new celebrity faces and a new open-door policy. In previous years the celebration and its arts and crafts, costumed characters, yummy treats and celebrity readers (who have included Tiffani Thiessen, Jack Black and JJ Abrams) was only open to those working with the non-profit organization.
This time Milk + Bookies is extending an invitation to all L.A.-area parents to celebrate April 17 at California Market Center in Downtown Los Angeles. Story Time Celebration is a three-hour event characterized as a blowout book-raiser. In addition to milk and cookies, there will be story-inspired arts and crafts, books to donate, a scavenger hunt, the chance to meet your favorite literary characters, a giant bookstore and snacks.
As for celebrity readers, BJ Novak (The Office, The Mindy Project), Lena Headey (Game of Thrones) and comedian David Koechner (The Goldbergs) have been confirmed to share classic tales and new books to attendees. Julie Bowen (Modern Family) and Max Greenfield (New Girl) are also longtime supporters of the organization and will most likely read or be in attendance.
The organization was started a little over 10 years ago by Meredith Alexander, mom of two sons. A floral designer by trade, she wanted children to experience giving back to their communities while also promoting literacy in underserved areas. To date, the organization has impacted more than 76,000 children, donating more than 285,000 books in more than 250 cities around the nation. They also provide book-raiser kits to families. Hilary Levey Friedman, who wrote about her experience with Milk + Bookies for Brain, Child Magazine, shares how her Milk + Bookies Book-Raiser Kit helped make her sons no-gifts birthday a success, “I wondered about how to talk to Carston about why we were collecting books. I explained that some kids didn’t have any books at home, or many toys, but that we were going to give them some. I then asked Carston how it made him feel to give the books to other kids and he promptly replied, “Happy!”
To learn more about Milk + Bookies visit their website. Tickets are $100 for kids and adults over age 2. Event proceeds will go to their Leaders + Readers program which teaches student volunteers how to organize a book drive and partners with “sister” schools who receive the donations. Their Choose + Keep Book Fair hosts pop-up “shops” allowing every child at a school or organization to choose and keep a book of their own.