Pharrell Williams just made a major move in the world of literacy. The famed producer has teamed up with Penguin Young Readers to donate close to 50,000 books to underprivileged children.
The campaign, which is backed by the social media hashtag #readHappy, also hosts a collaboration with FirstBook, a “nonprofit literacy organization,” Billboard reports.
In a statement issued by Skateboard P through the publishing company, the Virginia native said, “Every child on this planet deserves to experience the joy of reading.” This news also arrives before the release of Pharrell’s first children’s book titled Happy, which is an illustrative title inspired by his chart-topping melody of the same name.
In an interview with Ed Week, Lisa Guernsey, director of the Learning Technologies Project and Early Education Initiative at the New America Foundation, said there’s one statistic to put into perspective how important it is for young children to love reading.
“More than two-thirds of American 4th graders are not reading at grade level in this country,” she said. “That’s not two-thirds of low-income 4th graders, that’s not two-thirds of children in very poor communities. That is two-thirds of American 4th graders, period.”