Last month, we had the chance to catch up with Vanessa Williams who partnered with Kellogg’s and Penguin Random House for Kellogg’s Feeding Reading Program, encouraging childhood reading at Kellogg’s NYC. Vanessa read to the kids through her support with Kellogg’s Feeding Reading program with Penguin Random House. She read one of our favorite books growing up, The Pokey Little Puppy. We took a moment to ask her a few questions as we are inspired by the first African American Miss America, recording artist, Broadway star and actress.
ATHLEISURE MAG: What was the moment that you realized that you wanted to be this triple threat from being the First African American to be Miss America, being a recording artist as well as an actress – was it always a plan to showcase your talents across various verticals?
VANESSA WILLIAMS: Growing up music was a requirement in my household. The arts were revered and my parents who were music educators never told me to get a “real job”. They supported my love for the arts and to major in musical theater that combined my talents. A Broadway career was the goal. All the rest of my career has been a huge blessing that I never dreamed of.
AM: Looking back on the legacy that you have created, what is the takeaway that want others to have in looking at what you have accomplished throughout your career?
VW: My career has been an example of being brave to take unexpected opportunities when they arise and then being prepared to do your best when given those opportunities. You can plan all you want but life always gives you challenges that you that force you to grow and change your path
AM: The Pokey Little Puppy is a book that we enjoyed growing up – how did this partnership with you and Kellogg’s as well as Penguin Random House come about and why did you want to participate in this?
VW: As an author, mother of 4 and the daughter of two teachers, I know the importance of reading in order to fuel kids. It helps you think and learn and grow your imagination. I read to my kids as they were growing up and The Pokey Little Puppy was one of our favorites. I also showed the kids the picture of my new Great Dane puppy Roscoe Rider that I just got this week. Plus, I’m also working on a children’s book so when Kellogg’s reached out it was a no-brainer.
AM: Can you tell us about Feeding Reading Program and why this is so important to you?
VW: The Kellogg’s Reading Feeding program gets books into kids hands to fuel their minds and bodies, which is so important to me. Last year alone, more than 400,000 books were distributed to kids and families across the country.
It’s easy for parents to participate, too. Buy a specially marked Kellogg’s product to earn a credit for one of 125 Penguin Random House books across multiple reading levels. Books also can be donated to a school or library. Visit www.FeedingReading.com to learn more about the program.
AM: What was it like to be with your mom and reading to the children yesterday and what do you hope that the children got from being able to participate?
VW: I came alone to read to the enthusiastic kids entering 2nd grade next fall. I asked lots of questions of course about puppies , pets and the many creatures that are featured in the book. The highlight was hearing the children ooh and aah about my new puppy
AM: What projects are you working on that we can share with our readers to keep an eye out for?
VW: I have a new children’s book coming out soon by Sterling Publishing called “Bubble Kisses”, just launched a fashion line on HSN, recording a new album for BMG records and have a few scripts in the works for future projects that I’m producing
AM: You always look phenomenal, what are 3 beauty/skincare products that you swear by that you can share with us?
VW: Ziip microcurrent portable device helps keeps my skin toned. I use it before any appearances on camera. Eye lash extensions are my new favorite go to for instant killer eyes and the HydraFacial does wonders for pore cleansing and rejuvenation.
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