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Taye Diggs’ Reading Campaign

JETmag.com caught up with Baggage Claim (out September 27) star Taye Diggs to talk about his new partnership with Kellogg’s and Scholastic to promote literacy. Find out why the actor and author made working on this campaign an priority.

JET: Tell us about the program.

Diggs: I am very excited. I’ve partnered with Kellogg and Scholastic to try to get books to get those who need them. I found out that 2/3 of kids that are in poverty don’t have access to books, so  we me being a father and a children’s book author, you can understand that this is a cause that is very important to me. So we, Scholastic, Kellogg and myself, are looking forward to giving hundreds of thousands of books to kids in need.

JET: How do the kids get the books?

Diggs: There are two simple ways. When you buy a box of Kellogg’s cereal there’s a code on the inside flap. You can collect those codes, submit them and get free books that way. Or you can go to the website, scholastic.com/minimissions, to participate in activities called “Mini Missions” and they can earn books for their community that way as well. It’s pretty simple.

JET: Tell us about you and reading. You have the children’s book, Chocolate Me, but were you a big reader as a kid?

Diggs: I was a huge reader. I thought I had to get glasses because I was reading so much after bedtime, and straining my eyes. I’d literally have the book by the door and read by the hallway lamp light. Growing up, before my siblings came along, I was an only child and books were my best friends. So, I owe a lot of who I am today to books.

JET: What were some of your favorite books as a kid?

Diggs: “Encyclopedia Brown”— I read every book in our library. All of the “Chronicles of Narnia”. All that stuff.

JET: You have a 4-year-old son, Walker. How are you trying to get him into reading?

Diggs: There is no trying involved. We started reading to him while he was in the womb, and we continue to do it. A really great moment was when I was able to read “Chocolate Me” to him and have him try to grasp the message. That was a really special moment for me, especially because I dedicated to him.

JET: There’s often a lot of talk about it being challenging to get boys into books. As a dad, and an avid reader as a child, any suggestions on how to pique their interest?

Diggs: I’m not psychologist, but I think subject matter probably would mean a lot and role models are also big for young boys. So if you can get guys that they look up to, to stress the importance of reading and find subject matters that are relevant to them, that’s a way to get them interested.

Check out the program’s PSA HERE.