save the children

Employee Volunteers Kendra Levin and Marysarah Quinn Bound for Rwanda

Save the Children, a non-profit organization that shares our passion for books and for creating the next generation of readers around the world, has selected Penguin Random House U.S. volunteer applicants Marysarah Quinn (SVP, Director of Creative Design, Crown) and Kendra Levin (Associate Editorial Director, Viking Books for Young Readers) to be the first publisher-funded volunteers to travel to Rwanda and work in partnership with the organization on their School-Community Partnership for Education (SCOPE) project.  Coinciding with our Community Day of Service on January 12, Marysarah and Kendra will leave on January 13 to volunteer their time on behalf of Penguin Random House for one full week in Kigali, Rwanda.

[caption id="attachment_9041" align="alignright" width="178"] Marysarah Quinn (SVP, Director of Creative Design, Crown)[/caption] “The Mureke Dusome  (meaning Let’s Read) team is incredibly excited for the Penguin Random House corporate volunteers’ visit this January,” said Heidi Schubert, Basic Education Specialist for Save the Children’s International Programs. Marysarah said, “I grew up in the various imprints of Penguin Random House—working here my entire adult life. I have always felt incredibly proud and lucky to work with the very best in the industry. It is an incredible honor to have the opportunity to share what I have learned with our partners abroad. I am truly humbled to have been chosen and so excited about this project!” [caption id="attachment_9042" align="alignleft" width="254"] Kendra Levin (Associate Editorial Director, Viking Books for Young Readers)[/caption] Kendra commented, “I’m honored to represent Penguin Random House and forge these relationships with publishers in Kigali. Penguin Random House is such a global company and every time I’ve had the chance to connect with publishing colleagues abroad, it’s created a rich exchange of information and ideas. I’m thrilled that Penguin Random House has found a way to blend a meeting of the minds with its mission of corporate social responsibility.” Save the Children has been working with the local publishing industry in Rwanda for the last five years, helping it to grow from four small publishing houses to over 10.  Each of them now has books approved by the Rwanda Ministry of Education for use in public schools.  This Mureke Dusome project is USAID-funded and being implemented by Save the Children and its partner organizations. Kendra and Marysarah will provide local Rwandan publishers with key insights about what it means to be a professional publisher and how to balance the various elements involved in producing high quality children’s books – from editing the story to the illustrations and design process.  The sustainable, ongoing production of these high quality Kinyarwanda [the official language of Rwanda] storybooks will help to further inspire a love of reading among Rwandan primary school children.

10 Ways to Give Back with Books on #GivingTuesday

To celebrate #GivingTuesday, we’ve pulled together some of our favorite ways to give back and support books and reading this holiday season. Keep reading to learn how you can give the gift of reading, literacy and educatin through our long-time charitable partners.

1.     #GiveABook and Change a Life This holiday season, Penguin Random House is giving you up to 5 books to donate to your community through our fourth annual #GiveaBook holiday campaign. With your help, we have donated more than 185,000 books to children in need across the country through #Giveabook since its inception in 2014. This year, we’re donating an additional 50,000 books to children nationwide through First Book. Click here to  decide where up to 5 of these 50,000 books go by choosing which state to support. Help those closest to you by selecting your home state, or help support disaster relief efforts by choosing a state with impacted communities.   2.     Help Humans Heal with Good Dog Therapy Program The Good Dog Foundation trains, certifies, and fields therapy dog teams to ease human suffering and promote recovery from trauma and stress. Alongside helping people who suffer from health and mental issues, Good Dig teams visit schools and libraries to conducts anti-bullying workshops, work with children who are living with autism, and to assist children who are learning how to read. Earlier this year, Good Dog visited Penguin Random House with its therapy teams and was their chosen beneficiary of this year’s Global Walk. Donate to their campaign to help them reach their goal of $25,000 to train more therapy teams and help more people than ever before.   3.     Help Young Readers Get Ahead with Read Ahead Read Ahead ignites a love of reading in young students in New York City through mentoring, improving their confidence as well as their odds for success in school and life. Help nourish a passion for reading early in life and spread the joy of mentoring this holiday season by by making a one-time or recurring contribution by clicking here. 4.     Buy One, Give One with Penguin Random House and Zulily Penguin Random House is helping zulily kick off National Family Literacy Month this November with its first-ever interactive book fair, running now through December 10. Six sales events will feature a curated selection of children’s books, and each book purchased will trigger a donation from Penguin Random House to First Book. First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise that provides new books and other essentials to children in need, is aiding teachers, students and schools affected by the recent hurricanes. Look for the “Buy One, Give One” badge highlighted on the website and on featured books found in select events.   5.     Give a Gift of Joy with Save the Children Donate to Save the Children on #GivingTuesday, November 28, 2017, and your contribution will be doubled. Browse their Gifts of Joy Catalog to find your perfect #GivingTuesday gift. Choose to educate a girl for just $75 and you’ll give the gift of books, resources, and access to an education. For less than 20 cents a day, you can change a girl’s life forever.   6.     Help to Defend Freedom of Expression with PEN America PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the US and worldwide. Support PEN America and their efforts to champion the freedom to write and to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. Join Penguin Random House in supporting PEN America and become a member today.

  7.     Support the Literary Community with Poets and Writers Poets and Writers is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization serving creative writers. By subscribing to the Poets and Writers magazine and becoming a member at any level, you can help the non-profit with their mission to foster the professional development of poets and writers, promote communication throughout the literary community, and help create an environment in which the widest possible public can appreciate literature.

8.     Support UJA and Help People in need. Contribute to the UJA Federation of New York today and your support will have a global effect. Each year, UJA's work touches 4.5 million people in more than 70 countries through a network of more than 100 charitable organizations. Donate today and visit their new volunteer website,,  to find meaningful volunteer projects around New York City in the five boroughs, Westchester and LI.

9.     Put Girls First and Donate to the Malala Fund Join Malala Yousafzai’s #YesAllGirls movement and make a donation to support education programs for girls around the world. In her words, “One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world.” Help make it happen.

10.     Support Jumpstart and Make a Difference Because every child deserves a jump start, donate now and your gift will support Jumpstart’s early education program, providing children who are at risk of failing school with the support they need to be successful in preschool and ready for life.  

Penguin Random House India Partners with Save the Children

An integral part of Bertelsmann’s vision is to make a valuable and lasting contribution to society. A key part of this goal are the corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives that Penguin Random House undertakes in each territory where it operates and through every company that comes under the Bertelsmann umbrella.  In addition to our global commitments, Penguin Random House India have partnered with Save the Children India – an organization committed towards ensuring the ‘Rights of Children’.

Here are some of the programs we proudly support. india3Promoting Early Childhood Education through Balwadis: Its mission is to provide early childhood care and education for all round development, including physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and language development, and to build a habit of attending school among children. We are supporting one Balwadi, reaching out to 30 children (ages 3-5 years) and their parents. We are sponsoring their education aids, mid meals, and infrastructure requirements to run the education center. In addition, we also helped create a library by donating our books meant for early learning. Enabling Women to better their Lives through Functional Literacy: This program aims to provide functional literacy to the women and girls of Sarai Kale Khan Village, who have never been to school, or have dropped out of school. The 4-month curriculum adopts an Activity-based methodology, which equips an adult learner to read, write, and understand Hindi language and basic Arithmetic. The program provides them with a platform through various activities for enhancing self-confidence, communication, and developing a positive outlook. We will support one such program that covers 45 women for a period for 4 months. In addition, we are also looking at providing infrastructural support to their existing center by donating office equipment and furniture.

Launch Day: Join the #ProjectReadathon Million Minutes Campaign (April 17-23)

logo thumbnailPenguin Random House is very excited to announce the launch of our #ProjectReadathon Million Minutes campaign. The one-week reading and giving initiative, April 17 to April 23, gives readers the chance to help children in local communities throughout North America – just by reading.

Starting today, readers can visit a new specially created online reading platform at and read free, timed excerpts from over 200 Penguin Random House titles. We believe that the simple act of reading can have far-reaching social impact: which is why the more minutes a user reads, the more book donations are triggered from us to Save the Children – putting up to 300,000 books into the hands of children in need in the US, Canada and Mexico. How #ProjectReadathon Works:

  • Each excerpt on the platform notes how many minutes will be added and how many books will be donated throughout the campaign.
  • For example, reading a 20-minute excerpt unlocks a 5-book donation from Penguin Random House to Save the Children; reading an hour unlocks a 20-books donation.
  • The books will go to Save the Children literacy programs, which help young students transition from learning to read to reading to learn.
Contributing Partners: Also joining the #ProjectReadathon Million Minutes campaign are Charity Miles and Tab for a Cause, two organizations that enable consumers to give back through everyday activities. Users will be invited to add minutes to the Project through reading at, as well as through the Charity Miles and Tab for a Cause platforms for special in-app and on-platform opportunities. A Worldwide Celebration of Books and Giving Back: #ProjectReadathon takes place in the US, Canada and Mexico, and culminates on April 23 in honor of UNESCO’s World Book and Copyright DayWorld Book Night (UK) and St. Jordi Day (Spain). Penguin Random House employees across the US, Canada, Mexico, UK, and Spain are taking part in local celebrations in honor of these events, as they join together in celebration of books and reading to give back to their local communities. Visit now to join #ProjectReadathon and #ReadWell. 

Save the Children Thanks Penguin Random House for Its Support (watch video)

save the children logoPenguin Random House’s partnership with Save the Children, the world’s leading independent organization for children, continued to bring books and literacy skills to thousands of young readers in need throughout 2016.

Carolyn Miles, President and CEO of Save the Children USA, sent a special message of thanks

to Penguin Random House, which read, in part: “On behalf of our staff on the ground and all the girls and boys served by Save the Children’s literacy programs, I want to express my deep gratitude for the generous gifts we received from Penguin Random House. Thanks to you, we’ve been able to give children growing up in poverty in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Zambia, Malawi and rural America more opportunities to develop strong literacy skills and discover the joy of reading that only comes with access to books that stretch imaginations, inspire new ways of thinking and transport young readers to faraway places … Your operations team deserves extra acknowledgment for the extraordinary effort, time and expense that they devoted to ensuring that 300,000 books – an enormous amount by any count – made it into the hands of children in some of the world’s hardest-to-reach places.” ZimbabweMs. Mills also taped a short video message that features some of the children who have benefited from Penguin Random House’s contributions. Watch it here. Globally, Penguin Random House supports Save the Children’s Literacy Boost program, which creates a culture of reading both inside and outside the classroom, reaching more than 1,900 schools for children aged 6-10 particularly in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Malawi and Zambia as well as Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Philippines, and Australia. In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, Early Reader books were donated to partner programs in North Carolina and South Carolina. Penguin Random House has also been a strong supporter of Save the Children’s Early Steps to School Success program, which lays a critical foundation of language and literacy skills for children from birth to age 5, so they can enter school ready to succeed. The best way to ensure all children have a fair chance at a brighter future is to give each child the opportunity to learn and grow early on.