Laura Bush Joins The Walt Disney Company’s “Reading Together” Campaign

BURBANK, Calif. (Oct. 9, 2002) – In its continuing effort to help encourage parents and caregivers read with children, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) has joined with Laura Bush, who will conduct very special story readings for Radio Disney during the Playhouse Disney block, beginning Friday, Oct. 11th at 1:00 p.m., ET. In addition, Radio Disney will introduce celebrities reading some of their favorite selections later this fall.

In support of DisneyHand, the worldwide outreach program for The Walt Disney Company, Mrs. Bush will host ten episodes of “Reading Together with Laura Bush,” as well as provide reading tips to help motivate “Reading Together” within the home. Mrs. Bush will personally read three children’s books, beginning with “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse” by Kevin Henkes, “The Chicken Sisters” by Laura Numeroff and a special presentation of “Martin’s Big Words” by Doreen Rappaport.

Radio Disney’s participation in the “Reading Together” initiative coincides with the 2002 National Book Festival, which will be held Oct. 12, on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol and the National Mall, and is sponsored by the Library of Congress and hosted by Laura Bush. The festival, which celebrates books and the joy of reading, will feature more than 70 award-winning and nationally known authors, illustrators, and storytellers to delight you with their readings and performances.

“One of the most important things parents can do to help educate their children is to spend time reading with them,” said Mrs. Bush. “Disney’s ‘Reading Together’ program is an excellent way to reinforce how instrumental reading is to your child and how important it is to share books and storytelling. The tips this program provides are valuable tools to ensure this time spent is both special and beneficial to the entire family.”

“The ‘Reading Together’ initiative embodies several values we as a company espouse, including families spending time together and allowing children to learn and expand their imaginations,” said Disney Chairman and CEO Michael Eisner. “Having the support of Laura Bush allows us to bring even greater attention to this valuable program.”

Radio Disney’s “Reading Together with Laura Bush” programming is part of a company-wide “Reading Together” effort to encourage families to spend time sharing books. The initiative features celebrity readings and reading tips helpful to both children and parents. “Reading Together” is also a primary component of ABC Cable Network Group’s “Learning Together” campaign, designed to encourage family involvement in a child’s learning process.

Created and produced by Disney/ABC Radio Networks, Radio Disney is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week radio network similar in style to Top 40 music radio, targeting kids in a format parents can trust. Playhouse Disney (Monday-Friday 11:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m., CT), a special two-hour programming block, is dedicated to toddlers and their caregivers. To find a station in your city, log on to

DisneyHand, the worldwide outreach program for The Walt Disney Company, is dedicated to making the dreams of families and children a reality through focused public service initiatives, community outreach and volunteerism in areas such as learning, compassion, the arts and the environment. The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a diversified, international family entertainment and media enterprise which includes Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, The Walt Disney Studios, ABC, Inc., ESPN, Disney Channel, Disney Stores, television and radio stations and Internet web sites. For more information on Disney’s corporate public service efforts, please visit our Web site at