Free Children’s Books In Cheerios Boxes – Spoonfuls of Stories Program

Free Children’s Books In Cheerios Boxes

Worms, monsters, zebras and hippopotamuses are only a few of the imaginative children’s book characters to appear in specially-marked Cheerios ® this year as part of the Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories ® program. Through the program, which is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this spring, Cheerios distributes six million bilingual children’s books from award-winning authors free inside cereal boxes. Tuesday in Los Angeles, actress and mom Jennie Garth kicked off the anniversary celebration at a special reading event with the Mayor of Los Angeles. Similar events will be happening in cities across the country over the coming weeks.

Lack of access to books and educational materials is a major problem in the United States, especially in underprivileged communities. And, forty-two percent of children in the United States — more than 30 million — live in low-income households and don’t have age-appropriate books at home or at school.* Cheerios recognize access to books as one barrier to literacy development, which is why it continues to distribute quality books inside boxes to children nationwide. To help put books into the little hands that need them most, Cheerios will also give 50,000 children’s books and $300,000 to First Book, an award winning literacy nonprofit. To learn how your readers can support First Book’s efforts, please see the press release below my signature line.

Cheerios® Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary of its Spoonfuls of Stories® Program by Providing Six Million Children’s Books Inside Boxes


Actress Jennie Garth Kicks off “Breakfast & A Book” Events to Encourage Parents and Kids to Read Together


MINNEAPOLIS (March 20, 2012) – Today, Cheerios®, alongside actress and mom Jennie Garth, will launch the first in a series of “Breakfast & A Book” reading events to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of its Spoonfuls of Stories® program, which will once again provide more than six million bilingual children’s books free inside specially-marked cereal boxes, while supplies last.

For the second consecutive year, Garth will lead a special book reading for Los Angeles-area children and encourage donations to First Book, a national nonprofit that, like Cheerios, recognizes that access to books is one barrier to literacy development.[1] This year, to help address this issue and commemorate its 10-year milestone, Cheerios will give 5,000 children’s books to 10First Book local volunteer chapters nationwide and make a $300,000 donation to the organization.

Over the next few weeks, VIPs, including past Spoonfuls of Stories authors, will follow Garth’s lead and hold similar readings in their hometowns, including Washington, D.C., Charlotte, Philadelphia, Houston, San Antonio and Seattle. Each event will offer attending and area residents the opportunity to support Cheerios’ quest to get books into kids’ hands by making a donation to First Book via their mobile phones.* Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing will match each donation made via text (up to 50,000 books).

“For the past 10 years, Spoonfuls of Stories has enabled Cheerios to nourish young minds and bodies,” said Meredith Tutterow, associate director, Cheerios.  “When children across the country open our cereal boxes and discover a new book inside, it is our hope that they will also discover a limitless love of reading that will allow them to grow and succeed for years to come.”

As a mother of three, Garth understands the importance of fostering a child’s love of reading at a young age. “Parents play a key role in helping their children become readers, which is why reading is a daily ritual in my family,” she said. “As a mother and advocate for childhood literacy, I am proud to once again support the Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program, which has helped young children cultivate an interest in reading simply by providing access to books.”

This year’s in-pack book offerings, all of which are from award-winning authors, appropriate for children ages three to eight and from Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, are:

·         Peeny Butter Fudge, by Toni and Slade Morrison and illustrated by Joe Cepeda

·         Mostly Monsterly, by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Scott Magoon

·         Noodle & Lou, by Elizabeth Garton Scanlon and illustrated by Arthur Howard

·         If I Were a Jungle Animal, by Amanda Ellery and illustrated by Tom Ellery

·         Hello Baby, by Mem Fox and illustrated by Steve Jenkins

·         Can I Just Take a Nap?, by Ron Rauss and illustrated by Rob Shepperson

Over the past 10 years, Cheerios has distributed more than 60 million children’s books inside boxes and donated $3.8 million to First Book to help ensure children from low-income families have age-appropriate books at home.

To learn more about Spoonfuls of Stories, the “Breakfast & A Book” events and this year’s in-pack books, or to donate to First Book, go to


*By using short code 20222 and texting Books2Kids, a $5 donation will be made (and will appear on the primary subscriber’s cell phone bill), providing two new books to a child in need.  Standard messaging rates will apply.


About Cheerios

Cheerios, America’s No. 1 cereal, debuted in 1941 as Cheerioats.  The nation’s first ready-to-eat oat cereal has since become one of the most trusted and recognized brands in America.  In fact, one of every 10 boxes of cereal sold in America is a box of Cheerios.  General Mills’ popular franchise includes Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Multi Grain Cheerios, Multi Grain Cheerios Peanut Butter, Chocolate Cheerios, Frosted Cheerios, Fruity Cheerios, Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, Dulce de Leche Cheerios, Berry Burst Cheerios, Yogurt Burst Cheerios, Banana Nut Cheerios and Cheerios Crunch.  Cheerios also has a publishing division that includes the popular Cheerios Play Books and other activity books.  For more information, go to


About General Mills
One of the world’s leading food companies, General Mills operates in more than 100 countries and markets more than 100 consumer brands, including Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Progresso, Yoplait, Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills had fiscal 2010 global net sales of US$16 billion, including the company’s $1.2 billion proportionate share of joint venture net sales.


About First Book

First Book has distributed more than 90 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada.  By making new, high-quality books available on an ongoing basis, First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education. For more information, please visit

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About Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster, a part of the CBS Corporation, is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and audio formats. Its divisions include Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon & Schuster Digital, and international companies in Australia, Canada, India and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit our website at


About Jennie Garth

Jennie Garth skyrocketed to stardom with her role as Kelly Taylor on Beverly Hills, 90210. The show became a ratings juggernaut, lasting 10 seasons, and remains one of the most successful and iconic television series ever produced. Starting April 20th she’ll be seen on CMT in JENNIE GARTH: LITTLE BIT COUNTRY which chronicles Jennie’s challenges as she picks up and moves her family from their home in Hollywood to a life on a Ranch in Central California.  Jennie and actor Peter Facinelli have three daughters, Luca Bella, Lola Ray, and Fiona Eve. 


Shared with permission from Cheerios

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