Sunday, March 1, 2009

First Book

First Book provides new books to children in need addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy – access to books. The inspiration for the organization was born when Kyle Zimmer, a corporate lawyer by day and tutor at an inner-city soup kitchen by night, discovered that the children she tutored had no books to read.

Kyle discovered that the majority of programs reaching low-income populations have few, if any, age-appropriate books for the children they serve. She realized that there were millions of potential readers, future workers, citizens and parents, who were eager to love reading and learning, but were without the tools to do so. Spurred to action, Kyle left her day job and in 1992 founded First Book to provide new books and resources to the children who needed them the most.

That first year, First Book delivered 12,000 books to local communities in the Washington DC area. Now, 17 years later, First Book has deliver more than 60 million books to programs serving children in need across the United States and Canada.

By providing new books to children in preschools and after-school programs, mentoring and tutoring programs, shelters and day care centers and beyond, First Book provides resources to empower teachers and administrators. With access to high-quality books, educational materials and more, these caring leaders can better teach, plan curriculum and impart a love of learning, elevating the quality of the programs and opportunities available to children in need.

Through our innovative models, First Book has transformed a fragmented group of programs serving the most vulnerable children into a vibrant, centralized network numbering more than 20,000 groups serving millions of children. Through the First Book Marketplace, First Book National Book Bank and First Book Advisory Boards, First Book continues to expand our offerings of free and low-cost books to better meet the needs of the programs and children we serve.

First Book envisions a world where all children have an enriched learning environment with new books and educational resources of their own.
*text copied directly from First Book site.

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