First Book

Equal access to quality education for children in need

First Book Press Releases

First Book and Every Child a Reader Partner for Children’s Book Week’s First-ever Book Donation

NEW YORK CITY, February 3, 2017 —Every Child a Reader, the sponsor of Children’s Book Week, and First Book, the nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed more than 160 million brand new books to children in need, today announced they will partner to donate books to underserved children as part of Children’s Book Week. The joint effort marks the event’s first philanthropic component since its founding in 1919.  

For each library, store or bookstore that participates fully in Children’s Book Week events and completes the post-CBW survey, First Book will make a donation to children in need.  More information about the opportunities for participation is at EveryChildaReader.net.

“Children's Book Week is all about promoting a love of reading, which is critical to children's academic success,” said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book. “We are so grateful to Every Child a Reader for this opportunity to impact as many children as possible. For children growing up in low-income families, who often have no books at home, knowing that someone believes in them enough to give them a brand-new book can be significant, and First Book is thrilled to help make that happen.”

Book ownership and a print-rich environment are leading indicators of a child’s educational success, but for the 32 million children growing up in low-income families in the U.S. alone, books are scarce. A recent study by education researcher Susan Neuman identified vast “book deserts” across the United States, where communities have only a single book to be shared among as many as 830 children.  First Book works to ensure educational equity by serving the educators working with children in need across a wide range of settings, from classrooms, summer school and park and rec programs, to health clinics, homeless shelters, faith-based programs, libraries, museums, summer food sites and more.   

“First Book’s impact on children in need is extraordinary and we feel lucky and privileged to be working in concert with them to help make a change in so many young people’s lives, and extending the reach of Children’s Book Week,” said Shaina Birkhead, programming and strategic partnerships director of the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader.

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About Every Child a Reader 

Every Child a Reader is a 501(c)(3) literacy charity dedicated to inspiring a lifelong love of reading in children and teens across America. Every Child a Reader’s popular national programs include Children’s Book Week, the longest-running literacy initiative in the country; the Children’s Choice Book Awards, the only book awards chosen by children and teens; and the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature program, in partnership with the Library of Congress. Support for Every Child a Reader comes from grants, donations, and the Children’s Book Council. 

About First Book

First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise founded in 1992 that has distributed more than 160 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada, which, with more than 300,000 members, is the largest and fastest growing network of educators exclusively serving kids in need. By making new, high-quality books and educational resources available on an ongoing basis, First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education. Eligible educators, librarians, program leaders, and others serving children in need can sign up at firstbook.org/register. For more information, please visit firstbook.org or follow the latest news on Facebook and Twitter.


About Children’s Book Week

Launched in 1919, Children’s Book Week will commemorate its 98th anniversary in May 2017. It is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country.

2016 December Lightbox