Bobby, Donna Labonte Race for Books in Chicago

DONNA AND BOBBY LABONTE HELP RAISE BOOKS FOR CHILDREN IN NEED CHICAGO AREA RACING FANS PARTICIPATE IN FIRST BOOK® SPEED READ GENERATING 10,000 BOOKS FOR LOCAL CHILDREN IN NEED Cheerios® Spoonfuls of Stories® fuels local event as part...

DONNA AND BOBBY LABONTE HELP RAISE BOOKS FOR CHILDREN IN NEED

CHICAGO AREA RACING FANS PARTICIPATE IN FIRST BOOK® SPEED READ GENERATING 10,000 BOOKS FOR LOCAL CHILDREN IN NEED

Cheerios® Spoonfuls of Stories® fuels local event as part of Race for Books initiative with racecar driver Bobby Labonte

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- July 16, 2007--Thanks to the silver tongues of readers in Naperville, Ill., Chicago-area children in need will receive 10,000 new books from First Book and Cheerios. The readers participated in a First Book Speed Read on Saturday, held at the Jewel-Osco in Naperville, and hosted by Donna Labonte, wife of #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge driver Bobby Labonte. The speed readers read a total of 1,423 words during the event. First Book and Cheerios will make an extra donation of new books for local children for a total of 10,000 books.

The First Book Speed Read, created by First Book, a nonprofit organization that provides brand new books to children from low-income families, is an interactive and entertaining event that helps raise awareness about the importance of books and reading in children's lives. Participants "speed read" as many words as possible aloud from a children's book in just 15 seconds. During Saturday's event, the winning 'speed reader', Jaleesa Parks, from Chicago (Ill.), read an astonishing 83 words from the children's book Wiggle by Doreen Cronin.

While Donna Labonte helped raise books for kids off the track, her husband Bobby helped raise books for kids on the track through the Race for Books. Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories and First Book are donating 43 books to disadvantaged children for every lap completed by Bobby Labonte in the #43 Cheerios Dodge during the 2007 racing season. Labonte completed 266 laps on Sunday, generating an additional donation of more than 11,000 books for children in the region. So far this season, Labonte's efforts on the track have resulted in more than 228,000 books for children in need nationwide.

For the last five years, Cheerios has teamed up with parents and families to encourage reading through the Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program, distributing more than 25 million books in boxes of Cheerios cereal and donating more than $2 million to First Book.

"Racing fans are clearly all about speed and this weekend that 'need for speed' translated into thousands of new books for disadvantaged children," said First Book President Kyle Zimmer. "We'll all be cheering for Bobby Labonte in the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge throughout the season as he races to place brand new books into the hands of children in need."

About First Book®

First Book is a national nonprofit organization with a single mission: to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. Through hundreds of local Advisory Boards, the First Book National Book Bank, and the First Book Marketplace, the organization provides an ongoing supply of new books to children participating in community-based mentoring, tutoring, and family literacy programs. First Book has provided 50 million new books to children in need in thousands of communities nationwide. For more information about First Book, please visit www.FirstBook.org.

About Cheerios® Race for Books

Cheerios is bringing books and reading to the fast track -- by kicking off a year-long Race for Books during the 2007 racing season with the Cheerios/Betty Crocker driver, Bobby Labonte. Cheerios is donating 43 books for every lap Bobby and the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge complete in 2007. 36 races and the possibility of more than 400,000 books: that's a lot of happy kids! Go Bobby! The Race for Books supports the broader Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories® program to help get books into kids' hands and encourage parents and children to read together. Over the past 5 years, Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories has distributed more than 25 million books free inside boxes of Cheerios cereal, and donated more than $2 million to First Book.

About Jewel-Osco

Jewel-Osco, a SUPERVALU company, operates 185 stores in Illinois, Iowa and Indiana. With a market-leading position in Chicago, Jewel-Osco offers consumers added conveniences, such as pharmacies and fuel centers. Originally established in 1899, the company and its associates remain committed to the communities they serve, contributing more than $4 million each year to a variety of local charitable causes. For more information about Jewel-Osco, please visit www.jewelosco.com or www.oscopharmacy.com.

-credit: pe

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About this article
Series Charity , NASCAR
Drivers Bobby Labonte
Teams CIP