Cheerios® Spoonfuls of Stories Announcement: donations to First Book

Many of you know that I am an avid supporter of First Book and have posted announcements about the Cheerios® Spoonfuls of Stories New Author Contest. So when I received an email asking if I would help spread the word about their joint project I jumped at the chance.

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

For the second consecutive year, Garth led a special book reading for Los Angeles-area children and encouraged 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 10 First Book local volunteer chapters nationwide and make a $300,000 donation to the organization.

Why Books Matter

  • Books are not only a part of childhood, they are essential to a kid’s development.
  • After all, the more kids know, the more they grow!
  • That’s why Cheerios® is proud to work with First Book® to help get books to as many children as possible.

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.


Read Cheerios® Spoonfuls of Stories Contest Winner Ron Rauss’ Interview on Roxie’s Blog

Learn More about Winner Ron Rauss and Runners-up in the Contest

Find a Reading Near You

[1] Susan B. Neuman, Ph.D. University of Michigan, Ctr. for Improvement of Early Reading Achievement


    1. Hi Janina! They haven’t opened this year’s competition yet…it usually opens in May and closes in July. Check back on their site for the guidelines to be up next month. Thanks for stopping to spend time hanging with me 🙂

    1. You’re right, the kids don’t enjoy reading when it’s crammed at them from all sides, this is an awesome way for them to own books and discover the joy!

  1. Roxie,

    So worthwhile! Thanks for posting this one. I read two of the books off this list within the last year. I have one of them checked out from the library at this time. Access to good books material is vital to reading success.

    Linda A.

    1. Thanks, Linda, the contest is a great way for newbies to get their book published in a HUGE way! 🙂 So true, and this lets kids have a grand start food for the mind and body!

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