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 individual educators, professionals and volunteers specifically serving children in need. This is 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, professionals and volunteers who serve kids in need. Our First Book Network, a community of more than 575,000 individual 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 adults by providing books, resources, and initiatives that are directly informed by their feedback. In this way, they help shape our resources, partnerships, and strategic solutions. We facilitate the sharing of best practices and expand access to affordable tools and resources. The result is that our Network is more supported and empowered to better serve their students and communities.
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.
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.
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.
Our Model of Change
First Book Network
Comprises North America’s largest online community of individual educators, professionals and volunteers 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
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.
News and resources highlighting our ongoing efforts to bring new books and educational resources to children in need across the United States and Canada.
Honors & Awards
First Book’s financial model and its commitment to social sector collaboration, impact, and enterprise has been widely recognized by leading organizations.
We drive constant innovation and collaborate with field-leading organizations, to elevate our models while generating sustainable revenue to continue our work.
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.
Join Our Network
Educators can join First Book’s Network — the largest and fastest-growing community of individual educators and practitioners working with children in need at schools and programs across the U.S and Canada — to bring titles and resources to your classroom or organization.
Other Ways to Connect
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call First Book’s National Office at (202) 393-1222
- Call our Support Team at (866) READ-NOW or (866) 732-3669 (available 9am – 5pm EST)
- Mail us at First Book, 1319 F St. NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20004