March
9

8th Annual Story Time Celebration Recap

It’s that time of year again! Quicker than you can say “I Love Books!”, our 8th Annual Story Time Celebration came and went…and what a party it was! We could not have done it without the support of so many amazing guests, celebs, volunteers, and partners. We owe every ounce of our success to ALL OF YOU!!

This year’s Story Time was truly a labor of love and we would like to take this opportunity to recap some of our favorite moments from this incredible day…

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First and foremost, the BIGGEST THANK YOU goes to our incredible hosts and event partners at HD Buttercup in Culver City! Not only did they DONATE this space for the event, they gave us the run of the store that morning where we were able to utilize their beautiful furniture to create a truly unique and cozy Story Time for everyone to enjoy. Seriously, how gorgeous was this space?!?!

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“This event is a SUPER BLOW OUT version of the “host your own” book-raiser. We provide books on-site from which children choose, inscribe and donate to a pre-chosen recipient. We have arts & crafts all made from recycled book pages, costumed characters from your favorite classic tales plus a celebrity story time and yummy treats!”

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There was plenty to see and do at the event! Kids started off by taking our “Future Philanthropist Oath” wherein they promised to uphold the valuable lessons taught to them in their favorite books and to always give back to others. At our book store you could purchase some awesome M+B swag, buy a book, or donate one to a future Leader + Reader. Thanks to the generosity of our attendees and our book supply partners at Discover Books, we were able to donate over 2,000 books!

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In addition to special guest readings on the Story Time Stage, kids could make crafts from recycled book pages (created by the amazing Courtney Collins of little junebugs), play games with some Magic Characters (including Harry Potter, Pippy Longstocking, The Mad Hatter, and Captain Hook), participate in an exciting scavenger hunt with a super cool book necklace prize from Ann Williams Group, or grab a handcrafted treat from an amazing taffy artist!

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We were happy to have the support of both veteran and new VIP guests this year. Story Time readers included Julie Steines & Norbert the Dog, Greg Grunberg & illustrating partner Lucas Turnbloom, Mark Feuerstein, Henry Winkler, Dan Bucatinsky and our special Reading Champion 2017 Julie Bowen (she’s been with us since the very first Story Time!). Other special attendees included David Walton, KaDee Strickland, Jason Behr, Lindsay Sloane and our dear friend, Tom Everett Scott

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Arly Scott also performed her deliciously happy song “Pumpkin Pancakes” (check out her music video here!). And, lastly, but certainly not least, a HUGE THANK YOU to our MC, Adam Mellema, who kept the show running smoothly and provided the perfect mix of whimsy and fun that kept all attendees totally enraptured.

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Now, what’s a party without delicious goodies?!?! There was an ice cream truck, a coffee cart, snacks galore, a raw bar “boat”, picnic fare, and, of course, milk & cookies! We had so many wonderful partners and sponsors who went above and beyond donating supplies and tasty treats that kept both attendees and volunteers alike fueled and happy. Thank you to: Ripple Foods, Thyme Cafe and Market, Cast Iron Catering LA, Mrs. Thinsters, Organic Kids LA, Go Go Squeez, Bare Snacks, Ralph’s / Food 4 Less, Rockenwagner Bakery, Cheeky, McConnell’s Ice Cream, and Coffee Commissary. DELICIOUS!

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Several partners also generously donated some awesome prizes for our raffle, including $300 in blowouts plus a gift basket full of hair goodies from Drybar, a five class pass for SoulCycle, four 50- minute massages from The Now, a fabulous one night stay in the King Suite along with valet parking and a complimentary breakfast at Langham Huntington Hotel Pasadena, a 10 day pass at Steve & Kate’s Camp, and a $1000 gift card plus a design consultation with VP of Design and Retail, Skye Westcott, from our generous hosts at HD Buttercup. We even auctioned off some of our iconic (and stylish!) paper animals created by the genius team at Dutch + Finn to some very lucky guests!

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It goes without saying that a lot goes into planning Story Time every year…That’s why everyone here at Team M+B is especially thankful to HD Buttercup for hosting us, Morgan Pansing for snapping some gorgeous photos, Dutch + Finn for designing our whimsical decorations, Chideo for shooting event video, our pro-bono PR team from DKC Impact, and Traci Hoffberg Events for helping bring the whole event together.

Perhaps most importantly, we’d like to thank everyone who came to #STC8, both new and returning guests. Your support allows us to celebrate story time every day and continue to spread the love of reading to underserved children who don’t have access to the books they need to thrive. Because of YOU, through initiatives like our Los Angeles based Leaders + Readers program we’ve been able to donate over 400,000 books to over 60 Title I elementary schools!

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See you next year! And, remember to always…

READ! GIVE! GROW!


by Megan Tambio
June
20

2nd Annual Bike for Bookies with Soul Cycle!

Milk + Bookies rides again! Our 2nd Annual Bike for Bookies event will take place on August 28th @2pm. Join us for a fun filled, calorie burning day at the Beverly Hills SoulCycle Studio to help support our Leaders + Readers program! 

So far we have raised over 120,000 books and impacted 50 LA area schools and counting!! Come ride with us to help raise funds for our Leaders + Readers Program, getting kids in Title 1 schools in LA much needed books to support learning and academic excellence!

With our Leaders + Readers Program, every $1 = 1 book for a deserving child! With your help, we can get even more books into schools this fall and give every student in LA an even playing field.

Join us as a rider at this event! Email info@milkandbookies.org for more information and details on how to sign up. Hurry spaces are limited!

The more $$ we raise the faster we ride! Donate to support our programs by clicking and sharing this link with your friends and family. Help contribute to our mission of inspiring and educating the youth of Los Angeles!

We can’t wait to see you at the event of the summer!

Visit www.milkandbookies.org to read more about us.

READ! GIVE! GROW!


by Alesha Dailey
June
3

Madewell Gives Back with Milk + Bookies

This week’s Book-Raiser Spotlight goes to our friends at Madewell!

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The amazing team at Madewell put together a stellar Milk + Bookies book-raiser at their Costa Mesa / South Coast Plaza store on May 29th. They provided guests with champagne and delicious cookies from Milk Jar to enjoy and, for everyone who brought in books, they received 20% off a purchase of $125+ AND a free Madewell tote! The folks at Madewell were able to raise over 42 books which will be donated to Olive Crest, an organization focused on preventing and treating child abuse in Orange County.tumblr_m2ucafR1PO1qzdg78image001

TOTAL BOOKS RAISED: 42

DONATED TO: OLIVE CREST

We are so happy to have partnered with Madewell to give so many fantastic books to kids who need them most! Madewell is one special company who not only makes the BEST products, but also gives back to their community! Madewell also supports initiatives that protect the environment and responsible sourcing. To learn more about Madewell‘s social responsibility initiatives, click here!

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THANKS TEAM MADEWELL!

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To find out how to get your company/store involved with Milk + Bookies, email us at info@milkandbookies.org!

Learn more about hosting your own book-raiser by visiting our website here!

READ! GIVE! GROW!

#everydaymadewell


by Abigail Wordin
May
31

We Love Warner Bros.!

WBTV_Logo_ColorWith summer quickly approaching, all of us here at Milk + Bookies are sad to see some of our favorite television shows wrapping up for the season. A great number of these shows are brought to us by one of our very own sponsors, Warner Bros. Television! Warner Bros. Television produces and distributes programming to major networks such as ABC, NBC, CBS, TNT, FOX, and The CW, as well as HBO, Netflix, and Hulu.

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An all-around favorite of just about everyone in the office is The CW’s The Vampire Diaries, a young-adult fantasy drama about a girl who has to choose between two vampire brothers and the chaos that ensues. Season 7 of The Vampire Diaries just ended and we CAN NOT wait for new episodes! If you’re not caught up, don’t worry, you can stream the latest five episodes on cwtv.com or binge watch up to season 6 on Netflix!

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A new Warner Bros. Television hit is Netflix’s Fuller House, a reboot of the popular 90s sitcom Full House. DJ is all grown up with kids of her own and has to readjust to life after the loss of her husband with the help of her friends and family. People of all ages love the show, from young families to millennials who grew up watching the original! If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out exclusively on Netflix now!

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All of us at Milk + Bookies would like to offer a special thanks to our partners at Warner Bros. Television for their wonderful support of our 7th Annual Story Time Celebration that took place on April 17th in DTLA!

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Check out a recap of our 7th Annual Story Time Celebration here!

 

READ! GIVE! GROW!


by Shannon Dailey
May
13

Hooray For Bru’s Wiffle!

brusWiffleAndMore_tShirtBreakfast is the most important meal of the day, and no one does it quite like the folks at Bru’s Wiffle. Our love for their amazing waffle creations runs deep! With so many incredible options, like the Churro Waffle topped with cinnamon ice cream, how can anyone order just one (we certainly can’t!)?

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Chocolate Waffle Party is the breakfast of champions! via bruswiffle.com

If you’re feeling especially adventurous, take a bite out of the Chocolate Waffle Party, a chocolate Belgian waffle stuffed with fresh butter cream and topped with Oreos and chocolate sauce! In addition to they’re famous waffles, Bru’s Wiffle offers a hearty selection of lunch and dinner options guaranteed to keep your hungry tummies satisfied all day!

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All of us at Milk + Bookies would like to offer a special thanks to Bru’s Wiffle for supplying an amazing breakfast for our volunteer staff at the 7th Annual Story Time Celebration!

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These volunteers love the buffet of fresh waffles, fried chicken, and mac n’ cheese!

We couldn’t have done it without all of our outstanding volunteers who came out to help, and they couldn’t have done it without Bru’s Wiffle!

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Harry Potter approved! If only house elves could make waffles like the folks at Bru’s Wiffle!

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Willy Wonka LOVES Bru’s Wiffle!

 

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Check out a recap of our 7th Annual Story Time Celebration here!

 

READ! GIVE! GROW!


by Shannon Dailey
February
3

An Interview with Ms. Avila of the Variety Boys and Girls Club

Milk + Bookies has had the privilege to work with over 50 Boys & Girls Clubs in the Los Angeles area and nationwide. Books donated to Milk+Bookies, whether through our Leaders+Readers program, book-raisers, or personal donations, have helped to fill the shelves at a multitude of Boys & Girls Clubs as well as give their members an opportunity to choose books of their own to take home to keep.

We took a moment to talk with Ms. Josie Avila, the Librarian of Variety Boys & Girls Club in Boyle Heights to learn more about her members, the importance of reading, and the impact that Boys & Girls Clubs have on the community!

How did having a Milk+Bookies Choose + Keep Book Fair impact your club?

Our book collection in our library increased by almost 1000 books! Because our members were given a rare opportunity to pick & choose their books, this ignited a passion for reading, not only for learning, but also for pleasure. Our parents were grateful that their children could increase and, in many cases, start a library at home.

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How does reading have an impact on your members at the Variety Boys & Girls Club?

I have been an employee at the club for three years,  I have seen members who started coming to the club since Kindergarten and are now in third grade.  One example is Geovany Paredes, a third grader, who last year was tested and identified as “Gifted”.  He comes in every day! He loves to read chapter books and his favorites are all the Geronimo Stiltson books that he started reading in second grade.  Geovany has also read the entire Magic Tree House Series.  The members who love to read are also doing better in writing.  Parents have also started signing up younger siblings to expose them to our reading club.

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What kinds of books excite your kids?

The classic fairy tales, scary stories, holiday books, Dr. Seuss, Patricia Polanco.  I also find members who love to read biographies, history, and science.  I challenge them to find a book that is just right for them, then explore and read for fun.  Everyone who reads is also expected to do at least 3-4 book reports per month.

What does working for the Boys & Girls Club mean to you?

I love working with children, I worked with LAUSD as a library Aide for 20 years before I came to the club.  I love helping children by planting a seed for “the love of reading“.  I always tell our members that reading is a lifetime skill.  I use character analysis that enriches their understanding of this important life skill.  For example: Respect, Equality, Consideration, Kindness.  At our library, I expose our members to the writing process, art, & poetry.

I also call & invite parents to participate in our reading program.  I try to be a positive role model to all our children & their families.  I raised a son in this community & I have seen the impact of parent involvement in our youth’s lives in our community.

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What is the impact that the Variety Boys & Girls Club has on your community?

Personally, my older brother was a member and I know it kept him involved in positive activities.  He was also exposed to trips, team sports, and positive adult role models. The VBGC has been providing a refuge for children who daily struggle with real life circumstances of poverty, gang violence, and substance abuse.  Our staff works to ensure our programming meets kids where they are in their cognitive development, as well provide basic needs (snacks) so they are ready to learn.

What are the best ways to get involved at your club?

The best way to get involved is by contacting us at:

(323) 269 – 3177

Our Executive Director is Mrs. Patty Siquieros

Our Program Director is Mrs. Susana Magana

 

The club believes that all children can learn and achieve if given the opportunity to excel!

 

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Thank you, Ms. Avila, for all you do to support your community and inspire young readers!

Learn more about our Leaders+Readers program, here.

Your Los Angeles school could host a book-drive or become a book-drive recipient!

 

Read! Give! Grow!


by Marianna Yamamoto
January
26

Beads4Books

This week, we had the opportunity to sit down with Claudia, an incredible Milk + Bookies supporter, entrepreneur, and artist. In the past month, she turned her hobby of making beaded bracelets into a business – and she has chosen to donate part of the proceeds to support Milk + Bookies‘ mission!

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Claudia has been making bracelets for over a year, experimenting with different beads and designs. She has worked hard to find good beads for the best price and brainstorm ways to ensure quality production. After making the bracelets for herself, she wore them at school where her friends and classmates LOVED them…and, just like that, Beads4Books was born!

Now, she has a beading table set up at her house, keeps track of her purchases, and makes each bracelet herself. The Beads4Books Instagram has taken off among her friends, classmates, and family, reaching over 120 followers in the first month. Next, Claudia is gearing up to launch the Beads4Books website. *Update 2/10/2016: The Beads4Books website is LIVE!! Check it out here and start shopping!

As a member of the student council at Paul Revere Middle School, Claudia helped to organize a book-drive as part of our Leaders + Readers program. Her school raised over 5,000 books for 122nd Street Elementary School. Book-drives like this one are helping to flood Los Angeles schools with much needed books to support learning and academic excellence. The experience of organizing the school-wide book drive and delivering the books to 122nd Street inspired Claudia to continue giving back by partnering with Milk + Bookies. This means, every bracelet sold helps provide books to children who need them.

E-mail cgbeads4books@gmail.com to order your very own bracelet! Or visit www.beads4books.com!

Follow Beads4Books on Instagram!

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We are so thrilled to hear about Beads4Books’ success and look forward to watching it grow.

 

Thank you, Claudia, for spreading the love of reading and giving back!

Learn more about our Leaders+Readers program, here!

Your Los Angeles school could host a book-drive or become a book-drive recipient!

Read! Give! Grow!


by Marianna Yamamoto
November
25

We Are Thankful For…

Happy Thanksgiving!


This year has FLOWN by and we can hardly believe that Thanksgiving is already here! It has been an incredibly busy year for us at Milk+Bookies and we wanted to take a moment to share what we are thankful for.

We are thankful for all of the parents and families.

We understand how hard you work in order to love and support your children. Thank you for being the creators of the next generation, supporting them as they explore the world with new eyes, and inspiring them.

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We are thankful for all of the teachers, principles, and school administrators.

Thank you for loving each student as your own. We know how you dedicate a countless number of hours to your students and your classroom in order to help them learn, grow, and realize their full potential.

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We are thankful for all of the children and students.

Your excitement, perspective, and love brings magic into the world. You inspire us day in, day out.

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We are thankful for all of the authors and books.

You whisk us away to far away lands, take us on adventures, and transform us into mystical creatures. You challenge us and help us grow by showing us your world and the world of your characters.

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Thanks to all of you, Milk + Bookies has grown beyond what we could have ever imagined. We have inspired future philanthropists across the country in over 400 cities and your book-raiser parties and events have helped to raise and donate over 259,000 books. Our newest program, Leaders+Readers has helped to donate 90,000 books to Title I schools and organizations throughout Los Angeles.

We are thankful for YOU for understanding the importance of reading and giving, and helping us to get books into the hands of kids who need them!!

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It’s safe to say that 2015 has been OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD! We are so excited for 2016 and all the year has in store for us.

While Thanksgiving encourages us to reflect on what we have and what we have accomplished, we also want to take a moment to reflect on how we can BE BETTER and DO BETTER. Having said that, these staggering statistics drive us to work even harder next year, and we hope you will join us!

Los Angeles has the highest number of illiterate residents of any U.S. city.

Most, if not all, Title I schools don’t have a budget for books or library support staff.

70% of LAUSD students are part of the free lunch program – If they cannot afford lunch, they cannot afford books.

Approximately 60% of LAUSD students are scoring below proficient in English Language Arts.

Help us continue to inspire future philanthropists and bring books to kids who don’t have any by hosting your own book-raiser party, have a Leaders+Readers book-drive at your LA school, send us your gently used books, and READ!

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Have a safe and peaceful Thanksgiving!

Read! Give! Grow!


by Marianna Yamamoto
October
20

Vote for Leaders + Readers in LA2050!

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We owe so much of our success to our amazing supporters like YOU!

Starting TODAY until November 3rd, our Leaders + Readers program is eligible to win a $100,000 grant from LA2050 and the Goldhirsh Foundation

Cast your vote for our program here!

With this money, we will be able to bring over 100,000 books to children in Title 1 schools and low income areas in desperate need throughout Los Angeles!

With your help, Los Angeles does NOT have to be the #1 metropolitan city with the highest rate of illiteracy.

Every vote counts! Spread the word and rally your friends and family to support the Leaders + Readers mission to make LA the best place to LEARN.

For more information about the LA2050 Initiative, visit: http://www.la2050.org/.

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READ! GIVE! GROW!


by Alesha Dailey
October
6

Leaders + Readers Spotlight: Variety Boys & Girls Club

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On September 24th, our Leaders + Readers  team ventured out to the Variety Boys & Girls Club in Boyle Heights, where we donated 1,000 books and set up a special “Book Fair”.  The children were each invited to choose TWO books of their own to take home and enjoy. They were all so excited and enthusiastic that they even presented us with a special poem!

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LIBRARIAN SPOTLIGHT 

We are constantly inspired by the amazing actions of educators like Ms. Avila, the librarian at the Variety Boys & Girls Club. With dedication and sincere passion, she encourages all of the kids to read every day and constantly strives to foster a positive learning environment. She hosts a “Power Hour” for homework help every day and encourages research on new subjects. She also has devoted storytelling volunteers who come and read with the children every week. Furthermore, Ms. Avila has the children write letters and create cards for soldiers, their family members, and others in the community. What can’t this amazing librarian do!?

 

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Our Leaders + Readers team left the kids with blank board books so that they could write and illustrate their own stories. We are so excited to be going back to the Variety Boys & Girls Club in late November to see the kids and hear the stories they are creating especially for us!

 

THANK YOU FOR HAVING US AND FOR BEING AMAZING LEADERS + READERS!

 

To find out more about our Leaders + Readers program, please click here.

READ! GIVE! GROW!


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