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Albertsons, Coca-Cola Team to Donate Books

BOISE, Idaho - Extending an innovative children's reading education program for a third year, Albertsons and Coca-Cola are partnering to donate 500,000 books to schools and children's organizations across the country.

"Children are our hope for the future, and an increased focus on literacy will make it easier for these young citizens to attain their life dreams," Larry Johnston, chairman, c.e.o., and president of Albertsons said in a statement. "In partnership with Coca-Cola, we now have donated more than 1.5 million children's books to youth organizations throughout the country over the past three years. This year we are pleased to add Reading is Fundamental as a partner in the hallmark back-to-school program."

Albertsons and Coca-Cola created the program as part of a national partnership to encourage reading among children from kindergarten through the fifth grade. The program is conducted at the local level by Albertsons retail stores and Coca-Cola bottlers. Reading is Fundamental, the nation's largest non-profit literacy organization, will handle distribution of the books to local schools.

Johnston launched the 2004 campaign last week at an Albertsons store in Boise, where he read a book to area Boys and Girls Club members, representative of the group of organizations who will benefit from the book contributions in the 37 states where Albertsons does business.

"Through the efforts of our caring and dedicated store associates, the generosity of hundreds of thousands of our customers, and education-oriented partnerships created with some of our valued suppliers, like Coca-Cola, we are helping provide resources that make a meaningful difference in the quality of education in the neighborhoods we serve," Johnson noted.
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