OAK BROOK, IL–(Marketwired – Aug 17, 2017) – In celebration of National Literacy Month in September, McDonald’s USA (NYSE: MCD) is inviting families to celebrate the joy of reading with the launch of the latest Happy Meal Books promotion. Happy Meal Books will return to restaurants nationwide from September 5-18 helping spread the gift of reading to families across the U.S.
In celebration of its 200th anniversary, HarperCollins Publishers, one of the leading publishers of children’s books, is joining forces with McDonald’s USA to bring families a collection of four Happy Meal-sized books featuring popular titles — “Pete the Cat’s Got Class” by James Dean, “Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School” by Herman Parish, “Just A School Project” by Mercer Mayer and “If You Take a Mouse to School” by Laura Numeroff. Books are available in English and, in select restaurants, in Spanish.
McDonald’s is also a proud supporter of Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation’s largest children’s literacy organization, which seeks to promote literacy by creating needs-based content and scalable community solutions so every child can experience the life-changing power of literacy. By 2018, McDonald’s will have donated approximately 400,000 books from the Happy Meal Books promotions to RIF literacy efforts and programs across the country.
“HarperCollins is pleased to be part of McDonald’s Happy Meal Books promotion again this year to place beloved books in the hands of millions of children,” says Suzanne Murphy, President and Publisher, HarperCollins Children’s Books. “Reading has a profound impact on the educational development of a child and through this program along with our donation to Reading Is Fundamental, we hope to make book ownership for children more accessible.”
“McDonald’s partnership with RIF is a celebration of the power and joy of families reading together,” said Beth Meyer, Chief Marketing Officer of Reading Is Fundamental. “Six out of 10 low-income families still have no age-appropriate books in their homes, so providing children with books coupled with supplemental literacy resources they need to achieve their full potential has never been more important.”
McDonald’s Happy Meal Book promotion is among a list of the company’s actions supporting a commitment to promote children’s well-being by inspiring kids to engage in active and imaginative play in a fun way and help develop a sense of community. This announcement follows a number of changes McDonald’s has made to its Happy Meal, including:
Between 2012-2016, the company served over 78 million Cuties helping increase families’ access to fruit in partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
McDonald’s has served more than 2 billion servings of fruit and low-fat dairy products like Go-Gurt in Happy Meals between 2012-2016.
Since 2013, the company has been automatically offering apple slices, a smaller kids-sized fry and the choice of a low-fat dairy option like 1% low-fat white milk or fat-free chocolate milk.
Since 2013, McDonald’s has distributed 54 million Happy Meal Books to children nationwide — enough to provide a book to every child in America under the age of 12.*
In 2016, the company announced Chicken McNuggets have no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors.
“As we continue to raise the bar for our customers, we’re excited to add to the fun of the Happy Meal experience by inspiring more family time together,” said Julie Wenger, senior director of U.S. marketing at McDonald’s. “We’re proud to partner with HarperCollins and Reading Is Fundamental and invite families to spread the joy of reading through these fun, classic books in our Happy Meals.”
Research by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that reading daily to young children stimulates early brain development and helps build key language, literacy and social skills.
Through McDonald’s partnership with RIF, families can extend learning after reading “Pete the Cat’s Got Class,” “Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School,” “Just A School Project” and “If You Take a Mouse to School” through Literacy Central. This new, free digital portal, will feature lesson plans, puzzles, activities, and leveled reading passages designed to help build literacy development in children with a focus on the books from the Happy Meal Books program.
For more information about Happy Meal Books, visit www.McDonald’s.com.
About McDonald’s USA
McDonald’s USA, LLC, serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to more than 25 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by businessmen and women. Customers can now log online for free at approximately 11,500 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald’s U.S. restaurants. For more information, visit www.mcdonalds.com, or follow us on Twitter @McDonalds and Facebook www.facebook.com/McDonaldsUS/.
About HarperCollins Children’s Books
HarperCollins Children’s Books is one of the leading publishers of children’s and teen books. Respected worldwide for its tradition of publishing quality, award-winning books for young readers, HarperCollins is home to many timeless treasures and bestsellers such as Charlotte’s Web, Goodnight Moon, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Where the Wild Things Are, The Graveyard Book and series including The Chronicles of Narnia, Ramona, Warriors, Pete the Cat, Fancy Nancy, Divergent, and The Selection. Consistently at the forefront of digital innovation, HarperCollins Children’s Books delights readers through engaging storytelling in all formats, including eBooks and apps. HarperCollins Children’s Books is a division of HarperCollins Publishers, one of the leading English-language publishers in the world and a subsidiary of News Corp (NASDAQ: NWS) (NASDAQ: NWSA) (ASX: NWS) (ASX: NWSLV). Headquartered in New York, HarperCollins has operations in 18 countries. You can visit HarperCollins Children’s Books at www.harpercollinschildrens.com and www.epicreads.com and HarperCollins Publishers at www.hc.com.
About Reading Is Fundamental
Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) delivers free books and literacy resources to children and families in underserved communities in the United States. By giving children the opportunity to own a book, RIF inspires them to become lifelong readers and achieve their full potential. As the nation’s largest children’s literacy nonprofit, RIF has placed 412 million books in the hands of more than 40 million children since it was established in 1966. To learn more, visit RIF.org or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
*Based on US Census data projections for 2015 – 24 million children ages 0-5 and 24.7 million children ages 6-11
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