May 09, 2014 • By

Bringing books to breakfast and beyond

Cheerios expects to get millions more books into the hands of children via its “Cheer On Reading” literacy program, and also by expanding its partnership with the Little Free Library movement through a first-time crowd-sourcing endeavor.

Formerly known as “Spoonfuls of Stories,” the now 12-year-old program that distributes free books inside Cheerios boxes took on its new name last fall.

Its latest line-up of six bilingual books in English and Spanish hit store shelves on April 14 and will be available for a few more weeks. (An exclusive early-release chapter book is available in Honey Nut Cheerios, ahead of the book’s June release.)


Crowd-sourcing for Little Free Library

For this year’s program, Cheerios promises exciting things, including book offerings by filmmaker Spike Lee and singer Jewel, a chapter book in three parts as well as Cheerios’ continuing partnership with the Little Free Library movement.


Little Free Library is an organization that champions free book exchanges in neighborhoods around the world. Last year, the nonprofit received 25,000 Spoonfuls of Stories books from Cheerios, and distributed them to Little Free Libraries around the world.

This year, Cheerios will help the Little Free Library organization raise money to build at least 50 of the units in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas. Cheerios is doing so by teaming with Indiegogo, a crowd-sourcing site that helps people and organizations raise money online. The site went live on April 28 and will run through May 25.

“Each Little Free Library costs $350 to build, so our goal is to raise $17,500,” says Rachel Evans, integrated marketing communications planner for Cheerios cereals.

Cheerios will donate $100 for every $200 raised, up to $5,000. Money raised beyond the initial goal will be invested in building Little Free Libraries in rural areas outside Dallas-Fort Worth. Evans says Dallas-Fort Worth was selected because of the work of three community organizations – Big Thought, bcWORKSHOP, and Dallas Public Libraries – that have had a strong commitment to children’s literacy.

“We loved how motivated and excited the community has been toward literacy,” Rachel says.

This year’s line-up

Last year, 11 million books were given away in Cheerios boxes. The brand hopes to do the same this year with the seven books.

The six bilingual Spanish-English books can be found inside boxes of Cheerios, Multi-Grain Cheerios, Multi-Grain Peanut Butter Cheerios, Apple Cinnamon Cheerios and Chocolate Cheerios.

The chapter book – an exclusive early release for Cheerios – is split into three volumes and available in boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios, ahead of the book’s June release date.


The book list includes:

-“1-2-3 Peas” by Keith Baker

-“Chicks Run Wild” by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

-“Jump!” by Scott M. Fischer

-“That’s What I’d Do” by Jewel

-“Please, Baby, Please” by Spike Lee and his wife, Tonya Lewis Lee

-“Bear Says Thanks” by Karma Wilson

-“Phineas L. MacGuire…Gets Cooking!” by Frances O’Roark Dowell. (This is the chapter book available in Honey Nut Cheerios.)

Rachel notes that “Jump!” is a returning favorite that was part of the 2011 line-up of Spoonfuls of Stories. Cheerios promised to bring back a previous book and asked consumers to vote for their favorites via Facebook, and “Jump!” won.

Visit Cheer on Reading for more information.