Penguin Young Readers Group is teaming up with the Crayon Collection charity to encourage booksellers and educators across the country to collect and share gently-used crayons with children who can’t afford them. The initiative is in conjunction with the August 18 release of Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers’s The Day the Crayons Came Home, sequel to last year’s bestselling The Day the Crayons Quit; Penguin’s marketing department is aiming to use some of the attention the book is getting to help a good cause.
“Daywalt and Jeffers have created a world where crayons encourage creativity and cherish a good home,” said Jed Bennett, director of marketing at Penguin Young Readers. These are two important themes that the Crayon Collection embraces as well.” L.A.-based Crayon Collection helps schools, restaurants, and other places set up collection points for gently used crayons, to then share them with Title I schools and Head Start preschools that are lacking in funds, and to also avoid what the charity cites as $750 annually the average teacher spends from personal income to supply underfunded classrooms. The organization’s founder, Sheila Michail Morovati, also sees the process of repurposing the crayons as a tool for educating children on recycling and reducing waste, in addition to the benefits of sharing with those less fortunate.
Penguin will send out marketing kits to more than 500 stores to help organize more collection points, and the Crayon Collection has partnered with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for the museum’s Family Day on August 23, where author Drew Daywalt will attend, read, and sign copies of the two books. Morovati said in a statement that the books – which feature crayons that feel underutilized – “truly [capture] the core of our mission: repurposing the crayons that many of us take for granted for the benefit of vulnerable children, while simultaneously instilling an eco-conscious mindset for the environment.”