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First Book Makes Investment in Mobile Devices, Dramatically Expanding Access to Affordable Digital Resources for Kids in Need

Addition of specially sourced, affordable First Book-branded tablets addresses need for item most requested by teachers in low-income communities to meet their educational goals

WASHINGTON, July 26, 2017 -- First Book, the nonprofit social enterprise founded to address educational inequity, today announced it will add 3,000 brand new, specially-sourced tablets to the First Book Marketplace (fbmarketplace.org and fbmpcanada.org), the organization’s award-winning ecommerce sites for educators serving children in need, helping to bridge the digital divide for low-income classrooms and programs. In addition to the addition of digital hardware, First Book is also enriching its ebook offering, with new titles being added weekly.

The dramatic inventory increase comes in response to the First Book Network of educators, the largest and fastest growing network of educators in North America solely serving children from low-income communities. In a 2015 survey of network members, tablets topped the list of equipment needs, in order to give students access ebook and mobile learning game collections that were otherwise inaccessible. In the same survey, 40 percent of educators noted that tablets were necessary to achieve the goals in their classrooms.  At 325,000 registered members, the First Book Network represents one in four of the estimated 1.3 million classrooms and programs serving kids in need.

“First Book is making a significant investment in affordable digital tools and resources to ensure teachers working with kids in need can access everything they need to provide an equal, quality education,” said Carey Palmquist, senior vice president of ecommerce at First Book. “There is a tremendous need for digital tools; when we piloted laptops and tablets on the First Book Marketplace, they were snapped up quickly. The First Book Marketplace inventory is driven by the input from and needs of the educators we serve, and we’re grateful we can make these essential learning tools available.”

The new inventory includes 2,500 wifi tablets with a 1.5 GHz quad-core processor and 500 3G tablets with a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor (3G data service contract for the second model is not available through First Book.). Both models include eight-inch display screens, up to five hours of battery life, 8GB of internal storage, and one microSD/TF card slot for up to 32GB of expandable storage (card not included).
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About First Book

First Book transforms the lives of children in need. Through a sustainable, market-driven model, First Book is creating equal access to quality education — making everything from brand-new, high-quality books and educational resources, to sports equipment and snacks, affordable to its member network of more than 325,000 educators who exclusively serve kids in need. Since 1992, First Book has distributed more than 160 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families in more than 30 countries. First Book currently reaches an average of 3 million children every year and supports more than one in four of the estimated 1.3 million educators serving children in need. With an additional 1,000 educators joining each week, First Book is the largest and fastest-growing network of educators in the United States exclusively serving kids in need.

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.

Media Contacts:
Melanie Boyer
First Book 
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