About First Book

Eliminating barriers to an equitable education for children in underserved communities.

Leveling the Educational Playing Field

First Book is dedicated to ensuring that all children, regardless of their background or zip code, can succeed, by removing barriers to equitable education. We reach 5 million kids each year in low-income communities across North America, providing books and resources through a powerful network of more than 575,000 educators, the largest online community of its kind. By infusing high-quality resources into classrooms and programs nationwide, we level the playing field so that kids are ready to learn — because education transforms lives.

Our Core Values

Champion of Educators

We are passionate supporters of the educators who serve kids in need. Our First Book Network, a community of more than 575,000 educators and professionals who serve kids in under-resourced communities, has unparalleled knowledge into the educational barriers that confront their students. By researching their needs and challenges, First Book empowers these educators by providing books, resources, and initiatives that are directly informed by their feedback. In this way, educators help shape our resources, partnerships, and strategic solutions. We facilitate the sharing of best practices and expand educators’ access to affordable tools and resources. The result is that our educators are more supported and empowered to better serve their students and communities.

Social Innovation

We pride ourselves on having business minds and non-profit hearts. Using proven private-sector approaches, we design sustainable, system-changing strategies that drive measurable results. We are building a movement using insights and innovative ideas that amplify impact and disrupt the status quo in education.

Eliminating Barriers

First Book is dedicated to breaking down the barriers to educational equity by increasing access to evidence-based best practices, books, and resources in underserved communities. 

Purposeful Collaboration

First Book is a bridge-builder, collaborating with public and private partners, translating best-in-class expertise into educational resources to support learning for kids in need. We partner with field experts, publishers, corporations, foundations, fellow nonprofits, leading academics, and individual donors to address the critical needs expressed by educators. These mission-driven alliances enable us to expedite resources to those who need them the most. Our collaborative approach results in a shared social identity and tangible impact, changing the lives of children in need for generations to come.

graphic of First Book's Model of change. The graphic is made up of two different circle sectors. On the outside sector is three  areas. One is title 'Providing Affordable Resources,' another is titled '

Our Model of Change

First Book Network

Comprises North America’s largest community of educators working on the frontlines with children in need at schools and programs across the U.S.

First Book Marketplace

Provides the First Book Network with 24-hour, year-round access to an award-winning repository of affordable and new books, educational resources, and basic necessities curated for kids in need ages 0-18.

First Book Research & Insights

Advances education and poverty research by generating original data that amplifies educators’ voices, drives First Book’s models, and informs content on the First Book Marketplace.

First Book Accelerator

Turns current research and evidence-based strategies from leading experts into actionable tools that are shared with our network — so educators don’t have to wait months or years to use innovative best practices in their classrooms and programs.

More About First Book

kyle zimmer speaking behind a podium

Leadership

Under the leadership of President, CEO, and Co-founder Kyle Zimmer, First Book has become a champion of educational equality and a recognized leader in social enterprise.

black educator working with a black and brown student in the classroom

Press Room

News and resources highlighting our ongoing efforts to bring new books and educational resources to children in need across the United States and Canada.

kyle zimmer with bill clinton accepting an award

Honors & Awards

First Book’s financial model and its commitment to social sector collaboration, impact, and enterprise has been widely recognized by leading organizations.

selection of books on the table

Financials

We drive constant innovation and collaborate with field-leading organizations, to elevate our models while generating sustainable revenue to continue our work.

african american girl excited pointing at book stacks

2021 Impact Report

As First Book enters our 30th year, our nation’s children and educators need our support more than ever. The pandemic has taken an enormous toll on education, compounding existing economic and resource disparities with learning disruptions and mental health challenges. The First Book community has become a powerful force for social justice, supporting educators, removing barriers to learning, and addressing educational inequities.

Contact Us

Join Our Network

Educators can join First Book’s network — the largest and fastest-growing network of educators, schools, and programs serving children in need across the United States and Canada — to bring titles and resources to your classroom or organization.

Other Ways to Connect

  1. Email us at help@firstbook.org
  2. Call First Book’s National Office at (202) 393-1222
  3. Call our Support Team at (866) READ-NOW or (866) 732-3669 (available 9am – 5pm EST)
  4. Mail us at First Book, 1319 F St. NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20004