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09 February, 2010

NATIONAL CHILDREN'S CHARITY -- PAJAMA PROGRAM -- PARTNERS WITH LAURIE BERKNER, POPULAR CHILDREN'S MUSIC SINGER AND SONGWRITER



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Rita Larchar
Bratskeir & Company
(212)679-2233
rlarchar@bratskeir.com



LAURIE BERKNER SINGS TO “OPEN YOUR HEART” WITH SPECIAL NEW SONG FOR PAJAMA PROGRAM 2010 VALENTINE’S CAMPAIGN


Children’s Music Superstar Partners With Pajama Program To Bring Warm Pajamas and Books To Kids Who Need the Most Love this Valentine’s Day; Free Song Download at PajamaProgram.org


NEW YORK, NY – February 9, 2010 – With the spirit of love and compassion in the air this Valentine’s Day season, Pajama Program, a 501(c)(3)national children’s charity, and popular children’s music singer and songwriter, Laurie Berkner, have partnered to launch the 2010 OPEN YOUR HEART campaign. The OPEN YOUR HEART campaign is intended to encourage people to give their love to those children who really need it this season. Together, the Pajama Program and Berkner are calling to action individuals from across the nation to provide love and comfort — a Valentine’s Day “Hug” — through donations of new, warm sleepwear and unused, nurturing books to kids in need during the cold month of February.


As part of the OPEN YOUR HEART campaign, Berkner has written and recorded a special song, entitled Open Your Heart, which will debut on the Pajama Program Web site (http://www.pajamaprogram.org) on February 8, 2010 and be available to download for free during the OPEN YOUR HEART campaign, which runs through February 28, 2010. Widely recognized as the most popular indie children's recording artist in the United States, Berkner, a longtime friend of Pajama Program, was at the forefront of the current progressive children's music movement. Her intelligent songwriting, captivating vocals and infectious melodies have won not only legions of young fans, but also parents who enjoy the music as much as their kids.


“Laurie’s music inspires so many and touches so many hearts,” said Genevieve Piturro, founder of Pajama Program. “We are thrilled and honored to have her write and perform this special song in support of those who need love the most this Valentine’s Day.”


Thousands of children served by Pajama Program live in orphanages, group homes and shelters. In the U.S. foster care system, alone, there are more than 500,000 children. Every two seconds another child enters the system. Many have been abandoned or abused, and have never enjoyed the simple comfort of putting on a cozy pair of pajamas and having a mother or father tuck them in at bedtime and read to them. Teens in the system have often spent most of their childhood without warm sleepwear or the chance to read themselves to sleep. Since 1981, Pajama Program has provided more than 513,000 pairs of new pajamas and 230,000 books to children in need.


“It's an honor to be asked to write a song to help introduce the pajama program to more people,” said Berkner. “I know bedtime is the most difficult and vulnerable time of day for my daughter, I can't even imagine what it must be like for a child who has never had the feeling of safety and love from a parent. I hope that by sharing the song Open Your Heart, more people will find it in their own hearts to help these kids, along with the pajama program, in this very simple yet profound way.”


Pajama Program refers to the period from October 1 and March 31 as the “Danger Season,” the block of six cold and lonely months in which it is especially dangerous for a child to be without warm clothing at bedtime. The OPEN YOUR HEART campaign aims to spread awareness and raise funds during this crucial time to ensure that all children can have a warm night’s sleep. To learn about and to participate in the Pajama Program’s OPEN YOUR HEART campaign, visit http://www.pajamaprogram.org.


Corporate partners of Pajama Program’s OPEN YOUR HEART 2010 campaign include Bob’s Discount Furniture, Carter’s, Sprout® and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.



ABOUT LAURIE BERKNER


Laurie Berkner has been at the forefront of the recent explosion in children's music and has cemented her position as the #1 children's music artist in the United States. Over the past several years, Laurie's warm, captivating vocals and infectious melodies have garnered regular appearances on Nick Jr. , a national touring base, rave reviews from the press, appearances on "The Today Show" and "Good Morning America," and huge CD sales on her home-grown label Two Tomatoes Records, which is distributed by Razor & Tie Entertainment.


ABOUT THE PAJAMA PROGRAM

Pajama Program, established in 2001, is a 501(c)3 national children’s charity run by its Founder and Executive Director, Genevieve Piturro. Pajama Program’s mission is to provide new, warm pajamas and new books to children in need nationwide. Pajama Program has 70 chapters across the United States with headquarters in New York City. Pajama Program also operates three Pajama Program Reading Centers in New York, NY; Yonkers, NY and Red Bank, NJ. For more information visit www.PajamaProgram.org. Follow The Pajama Program online at http://www.facebook.com/PajamaProgram and at http://www.twitter.com/pajamaprogram.

To make a much needed and greatly appreciated financial contribution to Pajama Program, visit http://www.pajamaprogram.org/donate.html or donate via Facebook at http://apps.facebook.com/causes/309815?m=3f1cca43.

To learn about donating new pajamas or new books, to conduct your own local Pajama Program Drive or event, or to become a beneficiary receiving organization of the Pajama Program, visit http://www.pajamaprogram.org/donate.html.




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