Annual Book Giveaway


Re: Literacy Coalition Donates Books To 500 Children

NEW ORLEANS, LA  – The 2014 Big Wanda Book Giveaway is sponsored by Team Happy Foundation (THF), W.K. Kellogg Foundation Fellowship, Big Easy Kiwanis Club, New Orleans Rotary Fund, The AWESOME Foundation, Royal Engineers, Urban Strategies, Loyola University Lindy Boggs Center for Family Literacy and Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development. The sponsors are awarding 500 Big Wanda books to area youth.

• 41% of New Orleans children live in poverty.
• Ratio of books in poor neighborhoods: 1 book per 300 children.
• Access to books is the most significant barrier to literacy development.
(Sources: Census Data; Center for Improvement of Early Reading Achievement)

The third annual Big Wanda Book Giveaway serves as an opportunity for underserved children to take a new book home and discuss the importance of building a disaster plan with their family.

When youth are equipped with first aid skills and basic emergency communication techniques, they help their household become safer and our community more resilient. [Photos] 

If your school or summer camp would like to receive free books, email us a brief description about how your students are preparing for Hurricane Season.

March 18: Crocker Elementary received 50 books;
March 26: MLK Charter School received 150 books;
April 04: Lafayette Academy received 50 books;
May 15: Success Preparatory Academy received 25 books;
May 31: Official Summer Kickoff Event: STORM FEST 2014
June 11: Vietnamese Initiatives in Economic Training (VIET) Summer Camp received 125 books;
June 27: All Souls Community Center Camp SOAR

The Adventures of Happy & Big Wanda, written by Happy Johnson, foreword by Lt. General Russel Honore’ and illustrated by Joe Badon, teaches youth the importance of planning ahead.

It’s a picture book (ages 6-10) about an adopted teen who plays the trumpet for his high school marching band. The protagonist also drives Big Wanda – the name of a rusty old truck fueled by vegetable oil. Driving to a snowball stand before the start of an unexpected storm, Happy and Big Wanda’s perennial preparedness enables them to help their neighbors with disaster supplies made from recycled material.

The interactive book includes a hurricane preparedness checklist, word search, fill-in-the-blank puzzle, coloring pages and safety pledge; it also serves as the curriculum for the THF Youth Preparedness Program which has equipped more than 4,000 youth with basic disaster-readiness skills. 

(504)315-5084 or:


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