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Kerry Washington proved on her most recent birthday that giving really is better than receiving. The Scandal-ous actress took to social media over the weekend with a special 38th birthday gift request of her fans: books!

Washington, who became a first-time mom in April 2014, posted to her Facebook page on January 31:

You know how crazy passionate I am storytelling, right?! Well, for my birthday I want to give that gift to kids to who need it!

Please join me and First Book in helping children experience the #magicofstorytelling TODAY!#BDayBookDrive


On her giving page, Washington credits her mother for first giving her the “gift of LOVING to read.”

In the U.S. 32 million adults, or roughly 14% of population, can’t read, according to a 2013 study from the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy.

First Book gives new books to children in need and to date has donated more than 125 million books to children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada.

Reading aloud with children can grow self esteem, build listening skills, vocabulary and memory, develop imagination and creativity, and increase communication with parents among a host of many other benefits cited by the Family Literacy Foundation.

“For the next two weeks, from now until Valentine’s Day, show your LOVE and make a difference in the lives of children who need you,” wrote Washington.

Kerry Washington: “My Mom Gave Me The Gift Of LOVING To Read!”  was originally published on