Singer, songwriter Taylor Swift and Scholastic announced a donation of 25,000 new, age-appropriate books from the Scholastic Possible Fund this morning. The books will be given to 25 New York City schools that are in need of more books for their students.
Twenty-five schools will each receive 1,000 new children’s books through the Scholastic Possible Fund as a result of Taylor’s support of the Company’s “Open a World of Possible,” initiative, designed to promote independent reading among all children. As a long-time literacy advocate, Taylor hosted a webcast for classrooms during which she shared how books, reading and writing have influenced her and opened her world. Since it first aired in October 2014, the webcast has been viewed by more than 4.5 million students from around the country and is available at scholastic.com/taylorswift.
The importance of increasing access to books in schools was highlighted in the most recent Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report which found that children ages 6-17 from lower-income households are more likely to read books for fun in school and far less likely to read books outside of school than their higher-income peers. Further, having a selection of texts for independent reading can be a powerful tool to encourage kids to pick up a book. The same report revealed that nine in ten kids agree their favorite books – and the ones they are the most likely to finish – are the ones they pick out themselves.
“Scholastic is honored to join with Taylor Swift who continues to show a passion for literacy and a commitment to spreading the message of how influential books can be in a child’s life,” said Greg Worrell, President, Scholastic Education. “Through this donation, we aim to encourage independent reading which inspires a love of learning and to ‘Open a World of Possible’ for more New York City students by making sure they have access to the very best children’s books.”
“We are really looking forward to receiving these books and incorporating them into our school’s library so that all students in our building can have access to them,” said Principal Nova Xiomara, of PS 132, Juan Pablo Duarte School in Manhattan, NY.
Taylor Swift is the only artist in history to have three albums selling over one million copies in their first week of release (2010’s Speak Now, 2012’s RED and 2014’s 1989), is the all-time leader on RIAA’s digital singles chart, the only artist to have two singles hit No. 1 on Billboards HOT 100 Chart in 2014 AND 1989 was the highest selling album of 2014 and currently the highest selling album of 2015, to date selling over eight million albums worldwide.
Swift is also a seven-time GRAMMY winner, a singer, songwriter and the youngest winner in history of the music industry’s highest honor, the GRAMMY Award for Album of the Year and the inaugural recipient of AMA’s Dick Clark Award for Excellence.
The popular star has an album on Rolling Stone’s prestigious “The 50 Greatest Albums of All Time (by women) list”, and she is Billboard’s youngest-ever Woman of the Year and the only artist to have been awarded this honor twice, Time magazine has named her one the of the 100 Most Influential People in the world and one of only eight candidates for their most prestigious honor, 2014 Person of the Year.
Taylor has career record sales of over 40 million albums and more than 130 million song downloads worldwide, and has had singles top the charts around the globe. 1989 sold almost 1.3 million copies in the U.S. in its first week making it the highest selling album release since 2002 and the only album to go platinum in 2014, topping Billboard’s Top 200 charts and iTunes’ sales charts in 97 countries on its release. 1989 has sold over eight million copies globally and continues to top Billboard Top 200. Her current single “Wildest Dreams” is the fifth-consecutive chart-topping release from 1989.