On Thursday, November 15, while in Los Angeles for her BECOMING book tour, former First Lady Michelle Obama made a surprise visit to the Para Los Niños Tina and Rick Caruso Early Education Center, located in Skid Row, to spend time and read with a group of four-year-old children from an underserved area of L..A.
Mrs. Obama’s visit, part of Penguin Random House’s donation of one million children’s books in the Obama family’s name, was hosted by Para Los Niños, a leading L.A.-based nonprofit that offers a wide range of of high-quality coordinated student and community services, including three charter schools, six early childhood education centers, mental health and family support services, workforce development, and parent and community engagement to 6,000 children, youth, and adults annually. As part of Mrs. Obama’s visit, she led storytime with the students, reading both THE GRUFFALO by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, and LLAMA LLAMA RED PAJAMA by Anna Dewdney.
“As one of the few early childhood centers in Skid Row, we work with some of the most vulnerable children and families in Los Angeles,” says Drew Furedi, Para Los Niños CEO. “A visit from former First Lady Michelle Obama is such an honor for us, and so inspiring for our students to set goals and instill the love of reading for life.”
Para Los Niños partners with fellow nonprofit Child360. Child360 works to advance early-childhood education program quality and capacity by supporting the development of the whole child, growing a qualified and diverse workforce, and strengthening family engagement.
Child360 is also one of the first recipients to receive books from Penguin Random House’s one million children’s book donation in the Obama family’s name to First Book, a longstanding organization dedicated to promoting equal access to education by providing new books, learning materials, and other essentials to children in need. A selection of these books were available for the children to take home.