ABC13 and Disney surprise Houston students with 10,000 new books

Jeff Ehling Image
Saturday, March 7, 2020
ABC13 surprises students with 10,000 new Disney books
ABC13 and The Walt Disney Company surprised some deserving HISD students Friday with 10,000 new Disney books to help them build their own home libraries.

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A rally for reading turned into a giant book giveaway Friday for students in southeast Houston.

ABC13 and The Walt Disney Company surprised students at HISD's Park Place Elementary with a gift of 10,000 books to help each child start his or her own home library.

The giveaway is part of Disney's Magic of Storytelling initiative, which encourages families to make time for reading.

"All these books are for us and wow, I can't believe Mickey Mouse just gave us all this," said kindergartener Cecillio DeLeon.

Teachers say for some of their students these will be the first books they own.

WATCH: Disney gift inspires Houston students to read

Third grader Camila Robles tells ABC13 reading sets her imagination free.

Each student was set to receive up to 10 books depending on grade level, with the school's library also benefiting from the gift.

The pep rally had a decidedly Disney feel, with plenty of Mickey Mouse ears all around.

Students were inspired by a special message from NASA astronaut Jonny Kim, who shared his passion for reading with students. He also pulled double duty, helping distribute books to pre-K and kindergarten classrooms.

Chavez High School's marching band and Houston firefighters also added to the festival-like atmosphere.

Students like 4th grader Betzy Arreaga left the rally with a bag full of books and an even greater appreciation for reading.

"It makes your mind more open," Arreaga said. "It creates imagination."

PHOTOS: Disney's Magic of Storytelling at Park Place Elem.

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In January, Disney announced it is giving away one million books to children in need this year through its partnership with the non-profit First Book. First Book helps provide equal access to quality education for kids, including resources and books to help kids learn.

Friday morning, Disney surprised students from across the country with brand-new books from Walt Disney Publishing.

Disney has donated nearly 75 million books through its partnership with First Book.

You can help unlock more books by taking a "shelfie" as part of Disney's Magic of Storytelling initiative.

For every post on Twitter or Instagram with #MagicOfStorytelling, Disney Books will donate a new book to First Book.