Afro Latina actress, singer and songwriter Christina Milian is doing a video reading of one of her children's favorite books — for a good cause.
Milian is reading Dr. Seuss’s beloved classic “Green Eggs and Ham,” kicking off a monthlong literacy event starting Monday that will give Dr. Seuss books to hundreds of children who celebrate birthdays in March and whose families are homeless.
“Dr. Seuss books are story time favorites at our house and were some of the very first books I read to my own kids,” said Milian in a statement. “When the whole family gets together to read, something magical happens and I love experiencing that firsthand with my own kids.”
Dr. Seuss Enterprises, which manages the estate of Theodor Geisel (better known to young readers everywhere as Dr. Seuss), and Random House Children’s Books — the largest children’s trade book publisher in English — have partnered with the Birthday Party Project, a nonprofit that hosts birthday parties for homeless children. They'll be donating around 500 Dr. Seuss books to birthday children at participating homeless shelters in March.
The partnership will also give additional books in English and Spanish for mini-libraries at shelters in upcoming months.
“Reading books like Dr. Seuss’s ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ are a great way to have fun, but also provide an enriching experience," said Milian.
In 2022, the Birthday Party Project will be hosting about 500 birthday celebrations each month for children whose families don't have a home. The organization has celebrated over 18,500 birthdays at nearly 70 homeless shelters nationwide since it was created 10 years ago.
Tabatha Gonzalez-Olaechea, a senior vice president of development for the nonprofit project, told NBC News that roughly 80 percent of the birthday children are Black and 10 percent are Latino.
Gonzalez-Olaechea, who is a native of Lima, Peru, says that this is the group’s first literacy partnership. Reading, she said, is a meaningful experience that can wake up the imaginations of children and help them feel like they are part of a bigger story.
“It’s really about instilling that confidence and hope for the future in children whose circumstances may have left them feeling isolated or perhaps overlooked,” she said. “We truly believe that every child deserves to be seen, celebrated and held in community. And I think these books will provide them a little bit of an outlet to feel carefree and hopeful for the future.”
Dr. Seuss’s books are widely popular, having been translated into dozens of languages, including braille. And “Forbes” ranked the author as the fifth-highest paid dead celebrity in 2021.
“Promoting literacy and education is one of our core values at Dr. Seuss Enterprises,” Susan Brandt, president and CEO of the organization, said in a statement. “We look forward to working with them throughout the year and ensuring that the children served by The Birthday Party Project feel special and celebrated on their birthdays.”
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