"Books were my best friends when I was little," says the Weeds
star, who as the new spokeswoman for the literacy group Jumpstart
spends time sharing her favorites with youngsters in low-income communities. "I wasn't a social kid, and books were my escape." She loves reading aloud to her son, Will, 5, and daughter, Ash, 3and applauds the nonprofit's model of building educational skills through one-on-one mentoring. "Books allow you to relate to what you don't understand, which teaches you compassion," says Parker. "It's why I'm so passionate about the organization."HOW YOU CAN HELP
Make a pledge to read to young students at a school, or donate at readfortherecord.org
: $50 can provide a preschool with a library of 20 books.