Reading and Discovery Experience

As a Mars Wrigley brand, AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate is committed to the mission of education and recently launched a program in partnership with First Book—a nonprofit who believes that education is the best path out of poverty for kids in need—to bring fun, educational experiences to life for kids in communities where Mars Wrigley does business.

The “Reading and Discovery Experience” took place at the Mars Wrigley Factory in Henderson, Nevada. Nearly 200 students from select Title 1 schools in the surrounding area were given the opportunity to experience a hands-on chocolate-making demonstration, explore the facility’s 600-species cacti garden, tour the factory operations of the brand, and participate in a reading experience. “The Candy Bomber: The Story of Berlin’s Airlift’s ‘Chocolate Pilot” by Michael O. Tunnell was read aloud, and each student got to take home a copy of the book (along with some school supplies and gifts!).

Principal Sherrie Ghan of the participating Whitney Elementary School said, “Our families and students live in constant chaos and crisis and have very little to nothing they can call their own. Encouraging children to read gives them hope that they can leave this environment by showing them that there is a whole world in front of them. It also gives them an escape from their daily reality of hunger, survival, and crisis.”

“These types of experiences develop our students’ understanding and background knowledge beyond their textbooks,” adds Principal Cruz-Crawford at the participating Ronnow Elementary School, “which creates opportunities for them to discuss, write, and wonder about nonfiction subjects.”

This experience was part of a larger partnership between AMERICAN HERITAGE Chocolate and First Book to distribute over 15,000 books to educators, schools, and programs serving children in need this year. “This experience with First Book was the first of its kind for AMERICAN HERITAGE Chocolate,” said Gail Broadright, Director of Sponsorships and Family Properties, Mars Wrigley, “but it won’t be the last!”

Watch the event recap here: