In honor of Teacher Appreciation Day, Penguin Young Readers has announced plans to partner with the Crayon Collection, a worldwide charity committed to repurposing gently used crayons for children in need, on a national campaign titled #TheseCrayonsWontQuit.
Inspired by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers’s bestselling picture books, The Day the Crayons Quit (Philomel, 2013) and The Day the Crayons Came Home (Philomel, 2015), the campaign will offer restaurants across the country boxes and instructions to help their young diners recycle and donate crayons to Title 1 schools and Head Start Centers within five miles of the participating restaurant. The initiative expands the Crayon Collection’s efforts to help salvage the 150 million still-good crayons that restaurants throw away each year. (Crayons can take decades to decompose, because they are made of paraffin wax.)
Through its mission, the Crayon Collection teaches children about the value of recycling, reusing, and reducing waste, as well as supporting underserved communities. The charity’s work also helps reduce the average $900 per year of personal income that teachers spend on classroom supplies. Last August, the Crayon Collection set a Guinness World Record for National Crayon Collection Month, in which the organization donated just over a million crayons.
Jed Bennett, senior director of marketing, preschool and young readers at Penguin Young Readers, said in a statement, “Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers’s iconic Crayons picture books are beloved by children and families for their creative, quirky storylines, and for celebrating the artist in all of us. The Crayon Collection’s efforts to bring art supplies to children who lack access to them is an initiative that aligns beautifully with the themes of the book, and we are thrilled to be a part of this important campaign.”
Sheila Michail Morovati, founder of the Crayon Collection, said, “We have worked closely with large restaurant chains over the past 10 years, and prior to this campaign we depended on the restaurant staff to save the still-good crayons and to donate them to a local school in need of supplies. Now, with the support of Penguin Young Readers, we are able to mobilize children with the act of passing along their still good crayons to kids who may not have any of their own.”
Restaurants are invited to participate by contacting the Crayon Collection via email or by phone (310-383-1011) and providing their address to receive boxes to be placed in the entrance of their restaurants. The boxes will have instructions for once the crayons have been collected. More than 3,000 boxes are ready for distribution to any restaurant locations that would like to receive one.