Build-A-Bear Is Donating Stuffed "Learning Buddies" to Schools in Need

In celebration of National Teddy Bear Day, for every Build-A-Bear purchased on September 9, a special “reading buddy” will be given to kids and schools across the country.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Assistant Editor
Published September 8, 2023
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Did you know that 1 in 4 children in the US grow up without learning how to read? While back-to-school certainly means more reading is on the horizon, there’s another hero of children’s literacy waiting to be embraced—the teddy bear.

Research shows that stuffed animals can have quite a positive influence on early readers in a learning setting, including an improvement and excitement for reading. Teachers have cited even more benefits that include fostering community, encouraging good behavior and building confidence.

To connect more stuffed “learning buddies” with the kids and schools that need them most, the beloved brand Build-A-Bear is kicking off its new “Buy A Bear, Give a Bear” initiative in celebration of National Teddy Bear Day.

For every furry friend purchased in-store or online on September 9, Build-A-Bear will donate a teddy bear to a child or classroom in need to be distributed by Build-A-Bear Foundation. The single-day promotion aims to equip young readers with the confidence and companionship to reach their reading goals.

Build-A-Bear expects to hit a goal of donating 50,000 bears to children and classrooms in need.

“The importance of education and reading in shaping a child’s future success, both in school and beyond, needs to be prioritized. It is up to all of us to take active steps to support literacy efforts and contribute to the betterment of children’s education,” said Chris Hurt, President of Build-A-Bear Foundation in a press release. “The ‘Buy a Bear, Give a Bear’ program has the potential to make a positive impact on many, many children’s lives by fostering a love for reading and learning from an early age.”

You can join in the “Buy a Bear, Give a Bear” fun by creating a Build-a-Bear with your child in stores or online at

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