First Book In the News

News highlighting our efforts to bring new books and educational resources to children in need


Pizza Hut Unveils Collection of Free Antiracism Resources For Educators

QSR Magazine, August 19, 2020

Pizza Hut and First Book on Wednesday announced the launch of Empowering Educators—a collection of resources developed to provide educators with guidance and actionable steps to create equitable learning environments and navigate conversations about race and racism. 

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$1 million in grants will fund computers and internet connections for students in six Connecticut school districts

Hartford Courant, July 9, 2020

About 3,000 elementary students in six districts will begin the school year with new Chromebook computers and home internet connections, thanks to $1 million in grants from LEGO, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and First Book.

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Slowing the #SummerSlide

Early Learning Nation, June 23, 2020

“There’s a well-documented antidote to slow and reverse the summer slide: kids who read, beat the summer slide! When kids don’t read over the summer, they fall further behind. The best thing that parents and caregivers can do is to let kids select books that interest them.

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For Kids Who Don’t Have Books at Home, Communities Are Working to Reach Them

School Library Journal, May 11, 2020

First Book, the nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating book deserts, has organized a network of requests from educators who need funding and book donations to support their students.

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Businesses provide free resources to help those impacted by Covid-19

CNN, May 4, 2020

Penguin Random House donates 750,000 books to First Book to support children affected by school closures.

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New York Times, April 15, 2020

Publishers and nonprofits are finding ways to get books and information to housebound children worldwide.

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New York Times, April 2, 2020

Through The Times’s Neediest Cases Fund, a new relief campaign will support organizations, including First Book, on the front lines of serving those affected by the virus.

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Misty Copeland, Tiffani Thiessen and more launch virtual storytime initiative

ABC, March 23, 2020

A slew of notable stars are joining forces to launch a new initiative to encourage literacy, which they’re calling the “Read Together, Be Together” campaign. As part of the initiative, Penguin Random House will also donate 750,000 books to First Book.

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Stars Join Virtual Storytime Program for New #ReadTogetherBeTogether Family Reading Movement

People, March 23, 2020

“Thanks to the generosity of our publishing partners like Random House Children’s Books and Penguin Young Readers, [First Book] has 7 million free books to distribute to those who need them most, so countless children can have family story times in the coming weeks.”

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New York Times, March 22, 2020

“Want to donate to help children? First Book has the goal of delivering seven million books to children in the United States who do not have internet access or home libraries so they can continue learning while schools are closed.

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Helping Out During The Coronavirus Crisis: Where, What & How To Donate

Forbes, March 21, 2020

“First Book is working on getting 7 million books to kids in need, who don’t have home libraries or Internet access for home learning. You can help here:”

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How you can help during the coronavirus outbreak

Washington Post, March 21, 2020

“Several nonprofit organizations could use your time and money to make sure vulnerable populations are cared for during the pandemic.”

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Righting the power imbalance between funders and NGOs

World Economic Forum, February 28, 2020

“There is a dramatic imbalance of power and lack of real dialogue between funders and social entrepreneurs. Funders’ exertion of power manifests in compromises, ethical knots and budgetary jeopardy. Some funders are showing a willingness to grapple with the power dynamic.

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How to Support Students Affected by Trauma

WISE, February 17, 2020

“The stress of poverty has long found its way inside classrooms and programs, but today, those stresses are putting an even heavier burden on our children – and their educators. Refugee experiences, domestic abuse, community violence, food and home insecurity, crime, natural and man-made disasters, and political unrest are impacting millions of children around the world each and every day.”

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Blazing a Trail of Fundraising Success

Chronicle of Philanthropy, February 2020

First Book keeps expanding…such growth could only be possible via collaboration and the technology that fosters it.

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WABC heads to the Bronx for ‘Magic of Storytelling’

ABC7NY, February 5, 2020

Disney’s “Magic of Storytelling” campaign made its way to the Bronx on Wednesday to help bring the knowledge of books to kids alongside First Book.

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This teacher raised money for 1,000 books so her students would learn to love reading

Washington Post, January 20, 2020

Corrina Reamer built a personalized library for her 11th-grade English class in Alexandria, Va., by raising money online and applying for First Books OMG Books grant. 

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Here’s What Companies Are Doing This Giving Tuesday

Forbes, December 3, 2019

In its 35th year advocating for childhood literacy, Pizza Hut and literacy partner First Book are partnering with Karamo, Culture Expert on Netflix’s Queer Eye and author of the new children’s book “I Am Perfectly Designed,” to introduce a new holiday fundraiser aimed at increasing access to culturally relevant children’s books in communities across the country. Consumers can help support this cause beginning on GivingTuesday through Dec. 31 by adding a First Book donation to their Pizza Hut orders or purchase the First Book Bundle at Pizza Hut, where $1 from every bundle purchased will be donated to First Book.

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Give a Million this Giving Tuesday with First Book

Fox 5, Good Day DC, December 3, 2019

Obamas’ publisher makes new pledge to education organization

Associated Press, December 3, 2019

Penguin Random House announced Tuesday that it had joined with the former president and former first lady in contributing to First Book ( ) in the Obama family’s name.

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$1 can lead to 1 million books for kids in need this holiday season

Upworthy, December 2, 2019

“The gift of a book is a little that goes a long way. “Bringing new books to kids in need has an immeasurable impact, and for many kids, it will be the first book they have ever owned, or the only gift they will receive during the holidays,” said Kyle Zimmer, president, CEO, and co-founder of First Book.”

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First Book Aims to Give 1 Million Books to 1 Million Kids This Holiday Season

WUSA9, December 2, 2019

First Book President, CEO, and Co-founder Kyle Zimmer in Authority Magazine

Authority Magazine, November 20, 2019

“Reach out to others, because someone out there has the experience, knowledge or contacts — or all three — that can help you.”

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Kyle Zimmer Builds Community of Educators on Frontlines of Economic and Educational Justice

Early Learning Nation, October 29, 2019

First Book President, CEO, and Co-founder Kyle Zimmer talks the economic and social justice implications of  providing books and resources to kids in low-income communities. 

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Star Wars droids, illustrator surprise East LA school with a reading party

ABC7, October 16, 2019

Surprise guests from a galaxy far, far away made a special landing at KIPP Raices Academy in East Los Angeles, brought to you by Disney and First Book.

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End Book Deserts

End Book Deserts, October 7, 2019

“There is a presumption..that schools and teachers have what they need to their jobs and the answer is, they don’t.” First Book President, CEO, and Co-found Kyle Zimmer talks with Dr. Molly Ness about getting books into the hands of all kids, no matter where they live or go to school.

Listen to the podcast

Books Not Bullets: New Community Outreach Program in Jefferson County

WVTM 13, Birmingham, August 10, 2019

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office in Alabama and a local teachers union teaming up for a new community outreach program, funded by First Book’s OMG Books Awards program.

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First Book Grant Funds Books for Migrant Children

School Library Journal, July 30, 2019

First Book, the nonprofit social enterprise focused on equal access to quality education for children in need, has awarded Urban Librarians Unite and the REFORMA Children in Crisis Task Force nearly $100,000 to provide books to migrant children in foster care and secure facilities, as well as to give to attorney’s offices, support agencies, and into the hands of kids as they are being moved around.

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Is This the K-12 Edtech Marketplace That Finally Succeeds?

EdSurge, July 24, 2019

First Book applies model to drive demand for educational materials and shape the market for books, educational resources, and digital learning products. 

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How to Stock Your Classroom Library

Edutopia, July 11, 2019

Tips for bringing high-interest, culturally relevant books into your classroom on a modest budget.

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18 Free (or Cheap) Ways to Stock Your Classroom Library

We Are Teachers, July 16, 2019

There is no better way to encourage classroom reading than to give your students books. Yet, we know you don’t have the funds to constantly buy books with your own money. Here are some of our best tricks for finding cheap or free books.

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A New Playbook At First Book

Publishers Weekly, June 7, 2019

“We’re proud that we’ve gotten to the point where people know us and trust us and come to us. We’re devastated because the volume is not going down and all that tells about the chasm of need and what’s going on economically in the country…” Kyle Zimmer, First Book president, CEO, and co-founder

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NFL Player Clinton McDonald and First Book Help Mid-South Children Learn the Joy of Reading

ABC24, June 18, 2019

Clinton decided he wanted to make an impact everywhere that football has touched his life.  So, he has partnered with First book to put thousands of books in every community where he has played, said Dan Stokes, First Book chief administrative officer.

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Grant Funds ‘EPIC’ Book Drive

The Pueblo Chieftain, June 13, 2019

Thanks to a $50,000 grant from First Book, Executives Partnering to Invest in Children Pueblo is going to place thousands of books into the hands of youngsters most in need of a literacy boost.

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Kyle Long Helping Chicago Kids Get New Books

CBS19, June 10, 2019

Three-time Pro-Bowler and Chicago Bear Kyle Long is working with First Book to send the books as part of the Chris Long Foundation’s “First Quarter for Literacy” campaign.

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Pizza Hut and First Book win Engage for Good Halo Award

Pizza Hut and First Book were awarded Engage for Good’s Silver Halo Award for the Literacy Project. 

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This campaign is bringing summer reading to kids in ‘book deserts’, May 29, 2019

Efforts are taking aim at book inequality. The nonprofit First Book gets books to educators serving children in need. 

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North Dakota United, First Book Gift Students With ‘World of Imagination’

North Dakota United, May 22, 2109

“I had a group of students come in and help select the books so I had them come in and I went right to the FirstBook website and scrolled down and the kids said ‘that one, that one’…What a great thing that North Dakota United is doing for us and helping us out with FirstBook to put books in these kids’ hands.” 

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Toronto teen girls’ book club to have meet-and-greet with Michelle Obama

Global News Canada, May 3, 2019

A group of 15 girls from Toronto’s C.W. Jefferys Collegiate Institute will have a chance to meet former first lady Michelle Obama on Saturday thanks in part to the efforts of the leader of a special book club they belong to and tickets provided by First Book Canada.

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First National Antiracist Book Festival Launched by National Book Award Winner

Publishers Weekly, April 25, 2019

“Representation and inclusion in children’s books are building blocks of educational equality,” said Kyle Zimmer, president, CEO, and co-founder of First Book. “We can work to close the gap in educational resources that plagues American schools, but that isn’t enough. Children need to see from the very beginning that their stories have value, and the stories of those who are not like them have value.”

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Literacy for All Radio Show: Books for Youth

wsRadio, April 9, 2019

“Not only is equal education important for the children we’re all focused on, but for their families, their community, our justice system, our democracy, our economy.”–Kyle Zimmer, First Book president, CEO, and co-founder


XPRIZE, Barbara Bush Foundation & Dollar General Literacy Foundation Announce First Book as a Finalist and Milestone Winner in $1M Adult Literacy XPRIZE Communities Competition

April 1, 2019

XPRIZE, in partnership with the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, announced that First Book is a finalist and a recipient of its milestone prize, in its $1 million Adult Literacy XPRIZE Communities Competition.

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First Book Transforming High-Needs Classrooms and Programs Across the U.S.

m/Oppenheim TV, March 28, 2019

“Small solutions are not going to get us where we need to go. We need great, big solutions that elevate education – because our future depends on it.” Kyle Zimmer, First Book president, CEO, and co-founder

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Data from the Front Lines: Turning Educator Insights into Strategies to Tackle Educational Inequities

Spotlight on Poverty, March 13, 2019 Kyle Zimmer, First Book president, CEO, and co-founder; and Becki Last, senior vice president of network engagement

While the concept of “education for all” is advocated as a basic human right, it is clear that poverty is jeopardizing children’s futures, and our own.

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Taking Resources AWAY From High-Needs Schools?

Medium, March 12, 2019 Kyle Zimmer, First Book president, CEO, and co-founder

Arkansas is considering a bill that would reduce funding to impoverished school districts if its students’ reading scores fall below a certain percentage. What could they be thinking?

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Disney & First Book Want Kids To Know The Magic Of Storytelling

ABC/WATN, February 26, 2019

“Reading gives kids a chance to discover so many aspects of their lives. Young kids can use books to learn to read, and then as older adults, they can use books to learn about all types of aspects of life: from science to technology, to history, to math, to poetry, and the list goes on and on.”–First Book COO Chandler Arnold.

Watch the clip

First Book, Rise Up Partner on Donations to Schools

Publishers Weekly, January 31, 2019

The educational and social nonprofit First Book is partnering with author Alane Adams’ Rise Up Foundation to supply $130,000 in new books to school districts in Houston and Northern California ravaged by natural disasters.

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Delivering Education Research “The Last Mile,” Social Enterprise First Book Launches New Initiative 

Early Learning Nation, January 25, 2019

First Book, the nonprofit social enterprise focused on equal access to quality education, today announced the launch of the First Book Accelerator, an initiative that dramatically decreases the time-to-market for current, evidence-based strategies and resources to reach educators serving children in need – from years to weeks.

First Book President and CEO Kyle Zimmer at the World Economic Forum

Deutsche Welle, January 22, 2019

“You can’t pick one sector as the solution to all social problems…we all have to lock arms and focus.”

We need to talk about failure in the social sector

World Economic Forum, January 16, 2019

A lot of ink is spilled and awards are bestowed celebrating the success of the social sector – and there is much to celebrate. But the truth is, if innovation is essential to the ultimate achievements of the sector, we should spend less time on success, and more time on failure.

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12 Days of Charitable Giving: First Book

Forbes, Dec. 13, 2018

It’s the third day of Forbes writer Kelly Phillips Erb’s 12 Days of Charitable Giving for 2018. Readers suggested deserving charities over the past few weeks, and December 13th’s charity is First Book!

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Todd Gurley Surprises Students At Local Elementary School For Book Reading

Kicks on Fire, Dec. 5, 2018

Yesterday, star running back Todd Gurley surprised students at Worthington Elementary School in Inglewood, CA, for a once-in-a-lifetime book reading in partnership with the Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program. At the event, Gurley read his favorite childhood book, The Magician’s Hat, and then unveiled his Nike-customized cleats, as part of his declaration to represent Pizza Hut partner First Book, a nonprofit dedicated to creating equal access to quality education for children in need.

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GLAMOUR Magazine: 31 Days of Giving

GLAMOUR, December 2018

First Book is featured in GLAMOUR magazine’s “31 Days of Giving” for 2018! Just $21 will give a backpack full of books to a child in need, and our partners at Penguin Random House will match your gift throughout the holiday season.

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MSNBC Anchor Hallie Jackson features a on First Book

MSNBC, Nov. 27, 2018

Pizza Hut’s First Book Bundle For Giving Tuesday Helps Give Education To Kids In Need

Elite Daily, Nov. 27, 2018

As a part of Giving Tuesday, Pizza Hut is selling a First Book Bundle that’s going to fill your stomach (and heart) up with food (and joy).

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It’s now easier than ever to give to charity on Giving Tuesday

MarketWatch, Nov. 27, 2018

Pizza Hut is supporting children’s literacy by donating $1 from every “First Book Bundle” order (two large three-topping pizzas and 1 order of breadsticks starting at $20.99) to the First Book nonprofit providing equal access to quality education for kids in need.

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17 US-based Charities That Put Books in the Hands of Children

Chronicle Books, Nov. 27, 2018

First Book works hard every single day to get books and literary resources into the lives of the kids who need them the most in America.

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How First Book Increased Conversion Rates by 18.5 Percent in One Year

Classy, Oct. 1, 2018

Learn how First Book worked with Classy to create a better user experience for donors.

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First Book and Hena Khan: Stories for All

Phil&Co., Sept. 18, 2018

Listen to First Book’s cataloging manager, Yukari Matsuyama, and author Hena Khan discuss diversity and inclusion in children’s books, and why First Book’s Stories For All ProjectTM is so important.

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School is Back in Session: Here’s Our Assignment

Medium, Sept. 12, 2018

First Book President and CEO Kyle Zimmer gives us an assignment: We must step up and be part of a child’s success by helping teachers.

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26 Best Books for Latino Kids

Parents Latina, September 2018

These children’s books celebrate hispanic culture in unique, wonderful ways. Discover your child’s new favorite read in our list suggested by First Book, a nonprofit that provides new books and educational resources to children in need.

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Celebrating Diversity Through Books

Parents Magazine, September 2018

Kids will see themselves in these 20 titles, suggested by the nonprofit First Book, and also learn more about each other.

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Charity Navigator: Hurricane Harvey One Year Later

Charity Navigator, Aug. 15, 2018

First Book is one of 32 organizations included in Charity Navigator’s summary report on Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. First Book, with its public, private, and publishing partners, distributed nearly 1 million books to Harvey-affected areas.

Read the Report

Celebrating Diversity Through Books

Parents Magazine, Aug. 7, 2018

Kids will see themselves in these 20 titles, suggested by the nonprofit First Book, and also learn more about each other.

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Social entrepreneurs can change the world – but these 6 things are holding us back

World Economic Forum, Aug. 3, 2018

Now entering its fourth decade, the field of social entrepreneurship is at a crossroads. First Book President, CEO, and Co-founder Kyle Zimmer; and Kristine Pearson, founder and CEO of Lifeline Energy, weigh in on the future of social enterprise.

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First Book, Jimmy Fallon, and Macmillan: 3,000 Books to Kids in Need

The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, June 30, 2018

First Book, Macmillan Publishers, and Jimmy Fallon are bringing 3,000 copies of Tomi Adeyemi’s “Children of Blood and Bone” to kids in need through the Tonight Show Summer Reads program. Watch the announcement below!

Literary Nonprofits Using Books to Make a Difference

Medium, Electric Lit, June 21, 2018

“Hope” as Rebecca Solnit wrote, is “an ax you break down doors with in an emergency.” Writer Erin Bartnett highlights nine organizations, including First Book, giving the world a few more axes, and a few more reasons to be hopeful.

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A Party Fit For Mermaids

Publishers Weekly, June 14, 2018

First Book recently held a release party for Julián Is a Mermaid by debut author-illustrator Jessica Love. The event included “shell-fies” with mermaid props, sea-inspired snacks, face painting, and a read-aloud of the book.

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Disney, First Book, and NYJTL distribute 20K books in the south Bronx

Tennis Channel Network, June 11, 2018

At the 30th annual New York Junior Tennis & Learning (NYJTL) Mayor’s Cup, kids played tennis and received free books. Disney, First Book and NYJTL worked together to provide 20,000 books to underserved administrators, children, and families in the south Bronx. Read more

INSIGHT: First Book President, Co-founder, and CEO Kyle Zimmer

WHUT, May 31, 2018

“Our true mission, our true north, is eliminating all the resource barriers between a child in need and an equal, quality education.”–First Book President Kyle Zimmer

Watch the interview.

Summer Meals Program Offers More Than Free Food

Iowa Public Radio, May 29, 2018

In Iowa, summer food programs bring meals and books to kids in need when school is out — including in Davis County, where First Book Network member Stephanie Hawkins stocks a converted school bus with books from First Book and lunch.

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Magento Celebrates World Book Day at Imagine with First Book

Magento, April 23, 2018

Appearing on stage at Imagine on Monday, Carey Palmquist, senior vice president of eCommerce at First Book, told Mark Lavelle and the General Session audience how First Book transforms the lives of children in need.

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Medium: The Cost of Empty Bookshelves

Medium, April 20, 2018

First Book President, Co-founder and CEO on Medium: We’re setting ourselves up to lose an entire generation of kids based on their ZIP code. Now is when we decide if that’s something we can live with.

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27 tweets that sum up just how wonderful (and hilarious) Dolly Parton is

Upworthy, March 30, 2018

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The View: First Book, Disney, and #shelfies

The View, March 8, 2018

For every “#shelfie” (a selfie snapped with your favorite book) posted through March 31, Disney will donate a brand new book, all the way up to one million books, for kids in need. First Book CEO, Co-founder and President Kyle Zimmer chats with Whoopi and Chelsea Clinton shares a shelfie on this episode of The View.

Watch Clip

Mark Cuban-Beanstack Reading Challenge Is a Win-Win for All

Publishers Weekly, March 8, 2018

Participants in Mark Cuban’s reading challenged logged seven million minutes of reading time and read 84,002 books, generating a $25,000 from Cuban to First Book.

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The NFL Taps Pizza Hut as its New Official Pizza Sponsor

Cheddar, Feb. 28, 2018

Pizza Hut is the new official pizza sponsor of the NFL. The chain’s Social Impact Manager, Natasha Collins, joins Cheddar to discuss how the new partnership will expand the company’s social responsibility efforts. The company is launching its 2018 The Literacy Project. Its goal is to increase access to books and educational resources for kids in need. Collins explains how low literacy costs the US economy more than $225 billion every year.

Nick Lachey Surprises Kids With Free Books and Pizza to Encourage Literacy

Babble, Feb. 28, 2018

Nick Lachey popped into an elementary school in Encino, California this week as part of The Literacy Project, Pizza Hut’s initiative with their nonprofit partner, First Book. Not only did the singer treat the kids to a live reading of the book Secret Pizza Party, but they all got free books (plus pizza for lunch!).

Hot Off the Shelf: Katy Perry Shows Off Her Favorite Book for a Good Cause, Disney Launches Magic of Storytelling With First Book

People, Feb. 28, 2018

One thing Katy Perry isn’t hot and cold about: reading! The “Swish Swish” singer posed for a “shelfie” — a selfie with a book — to promote Disney and ABC’s Magic of Storytelling campaign. For every shelfie shared on social media with the hashtag #MagicOfStorytelling, a book will be donated to a child in need.

Disney Launches Magic of Storytelling With First Book

Good Morning America, Feb. 4, 2018

Forty thousand new books were donated in the campaign that aims to give away a million books by the end of March. For more information, go to Watch Video

TFA’s Prism Network Partners With First Book to Create LGBTQ-Inclusive Libraries, and You Can Help!

Huffington Post, Jan. 15, 2018

“In a world that seems increasingly disconnected and harsh, LGBTQ youth in particular need the additional affirmation of safe spaces as they learn to lead successful, meaningful lives,” said Andrew Byrd, manager of partnership development at First Book.

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Disney Launches Fifth Annual Magic of Storytelling With First Book

Good Morning America, Dec. 29, 2017

Disney is kicking off its fifth annual magic of story telling campaign with First Book–listen to Oprah give the details in this video segment from “Good Morning America.” For more information, go to Watch the segment.

First Book and Domtar Distribute 40,000 Books to Kids in Need

WCCB News, Charlotte, N.C., Dec. 27, 2017

VIDEO: First Book and Domtar distributed 40,000 books to educators serving children in need in the Charlotte, North Carolina area.


15 Literary Organizations To Support In 2018 To Make Your Reading Year The Most Meaningful Yet

Bustle, Dec. 13, 2017

Now more than ever, the books we read are a movement, a statement, a way to insure that we are exposing ourselves to, and raising up, the stories of diverse communities, of marginalized peoples, and of everyone who wants to move us forward.

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This Educator Didn’t Punish Troublesome Kids. She Gave Them a Closet Full of Stuff.

Upworthy, Nov. 27, 2017

This time last year, the top three most misbehaved boys at Equetta Jones’ elementary school were from the same family. As assistant principal, it fell to Jones to figure out how to solve the problem. Other educators might prescribe detentions, suspensions, extra tutoring help, or even a doctor’s appointment to be evaluated for an attention-deficit issue. But Jones sensed that the problem ran deeper — and she had a solution.

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First Book Keeps Looking After Young Readers

Publishers Weekly, Nov. 24, 2017

“Education is a child’s best path out of poverty,” says Chandler Arnold, First Book’s chief operating officer. “First Book provides educators serving children in need with the books and resources these kids need to thrive. Our model is not traditional, and that is precisely one reason we love what we do so much.”

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Essentials for Kids: First Book and Hurricane Relief

The Business of Giving, Nov. 17, 2017

There were many hardships faced by the people of Houston, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. But one of the more underappreciated ones was damage done to books and other educational materials in home and school libraries. This was not lost, however, on the nonprofit and social enterprise First Book.

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Help Hurricane Victims This Christmas by Giving the Gift of Reading

Woman’s Day, Nov. 14, 2017

The holidays are the perfect time for gifts that give back—it’s the season of giving, after all! Enter a new book initiative from Penguin Random House and online retailer Zulily: From now until Dec. 10, for every book purchased at with the badge “Buy One, Give One,” a donation will be made to First Book, a nonprofit that provides books to children in need.

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This Life-or-Death Industry Isn’t What You’re Expecting. It’s Children’s Education.

Upworthy, Nov. 12, 2017

Last year, librarian Rajeeni Galloway met a student that others had already deemed a lost cause. This student’s record was riddled with suspensions, and her grades had suffered so much that she could no longer keep up. She was failing. Galloway knew all too well what was at risk if the student didn’t get help. She decided to step in.

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From the Philanthropy 400: Who Got the Most Million-Dollar Gifts

Chronicle of Philanthropy, Nov. 1, 2017

First Book ranked among the 400 nonprofits that raised the most in private donations in 2016–and among the 225 profits that received gifts of $1 million or more.

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Barnes & Noble Donates $1M In Books to First Book for Hurricane Relief

Publishers Weekly, Sept. 21, 2017

Barnes & Noble has made a $1 million book donation to First Book for areas affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The donation includes thousands of children’s books for a variety of ages including chapter books, board books, picture books, and coloring books, and will be delivered by First Book to schools and local charities in both Texas and Florida.

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Aggregating Educator Insights to Create Lasting Impact for Kids in Need

Forbes, Sept. 19, 2017

“Education is one of the most powerful tools to combat poverty, further economic competitiveness, expand individual and community opportunities and raise standards of living,” said Kyle Zimmer, First Book’s co-founder, president, and CEO. “But 44% of U.S. children – including half of the children attending U.S. public schools – are growing up in low-income families.

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Rising Concerns Over Literacy Rates in Canada

Global News Canada, Sept. 17, 2017

Reading is often taken for granted as a common practice with all families, but according to the latest statistics from First Book Canada a quarter of Canadian households don’t even own a single book.

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Helping Houston

Politico, Sept. 15, 2017

American Federation for Teachers President Randi Weingarten, along with Neil and Maria Bush of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, Kyle Zimmer of First Book, and Houston Independent School District Superintendent Richard Carranza, this morning are delivering brand new books and basic necessities to areas devastated by Hurricane Harvey.

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‘Essentials for Kids’ Provides Hurricane and Funding Relief

Publishers Weekly, Sept. 15, 2017

In the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the American Federation of Teachers, First Book, and the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation are coordinating to deliver brand new books and basic needs items to areas affected by Harvey and Irma. This hurricane relief effort falls under the overall mission of the recently announced Essentials for Kids Fund, which is a new national initiative created to address the need for books and materials—including items like hygiene kits, clothing, and school supplies—in public school districts across the country that are underfunded.

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Booksellers and Publishers, From Near and Far, Provide Aid to Harvey Victims

American Booksellers Association, Aug. 30, 2017

Booksellers and publishers from the Houston area and beyond have taken the initiative to help victims of Hurricane Harvey, which struck Southeast Texas this weekend, creating a disaster area thousands of square miles wide.

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How First Book is Harnessing the Power of Free Markets to Give All Kids Equal Access to Quality Education

Forbes, Aug. 17, 2017

First Book is transforming the playing field for educators and infusing classrooms and programs with the highest quality brand new books and educational resources through a groundbreaking, award-winning model.

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Emotional Health Opens Doors

EdWeek, July 18, 2017

First Book President and CEO Kyle Zimmer joined other prominent thought leaders to reiterate the necessary role of social and emotional learning (SEL) in schools, in response to an opinion piece that suggested SEL was a “hoax.” “Our research shows that when students from low-income communities engaged even peripherally in SEL activities, they were more engaged and confident academically,” Zimmer said. “Lack of social and emotional skills is an impediment to learning, and SEL-specific resources can help.”

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New E-Commerce Opportunities for Kids’ Books

Publishers Weekly, July 14, 2017

Publishers are taking advantage of innovative, non-traditional e-Commerce opportunities, like the First Book Marketplace, to reach new audiences.

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First Book President, CEO, and Co-founder Kyle Zimmer Awarded 2017 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Social Enterprise

Washington Business Journal, June 16, 2017

In recognition of First Book’s sustainable, market-driven model that provides affordable access to brand new, high-quality books and educational resources to educators who exclusively serve kids in need, Kyle Zimmer was awarded the 2017 EY Entrepreneur Of the Year Award in the mid-Atlantic region for social enterprise.

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The Business of Giving Stopped by the First Book Office in Washington, D.C.

The Business of Giving, June 27, 2017

Learn from staff what makes First Book a special place to work. “There’s always this sense of there’s another great challenge, there’s another thing to work on, and you’ve got a lot of cool, interesting, smart people to roll up your sleeves with and try to figure them out.”

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Simon & Schuster to Donate up to 5,000 Copies of “Take Heart My Child: A Mother’s Dream”

FOX and Friends, May 8, 2017

Candace Radoski, First Book’s senior director for National Partnerships, joined FOX and Friends to discuss Simon & Schuster’s generous campaign to benefit First Book’s network of educators: For every use of the hashtag #takeheartmychild between May 8th and May 15th, Simon & Schuster will donate up to 5,000 Copies of “Take Heart My Child: A Mother’s Dream,” the debut picture book from FOX and Friends co-host Ainsley Earhart, to First Book.

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Partnering With the NEA Foundation to Bring Diverse Books to Students: Q&A With Kyle Zimmer

The NEA Foundation, May 4, 2017

Part one of a two-part series on First Book’s and the NEA Foundation’s commitment to increase diversity and foster inclusion in children’s literature, with a focus on First Book’s groundbreaking Stories for All ProjectTM: “Simply reading children’s books that feature diverse characters with a range of experiences helps kids learn about other cultures, family dynamics, and struggles. Each of these new books elevates our commonality and also contains wonderful insights that surprise the reader.”

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World Book Day: From Books Deserts to Reading Oases

Omnivoracious, April 21, 2017

For World Book Day, Amazon is working with three not-for-profits, including First Book, that have taken visionary approaches to improving literacy and book access worldwide. The Amazon Book Review spoke to Chandler Arnold, First Book’s chief operating officer, to find out more about our achievements and future goals.

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WWE WrestleMania Week Orlando

Miami Herald, April 8, 2017

First Book and WWE donated 20,000 books to Orlando-area schools. WWE Superstars Ember Moon, Zack Ryder, Tye Dillinger, Darren Young, and Dasha Fuentes read to students there and presented awards as part of the WrestleMania Reading Challenge.

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A Child With a Book is a Promise to the Future

The Nonprofit Finance Fund, April 5, 2017

The Nonprofit Finance Fund helped First Book launch its the First Book Marketplace in 2007; then, in 2015, it provided $2.75 million to upgrade the technology that supports its online platform, enhancing distribution, improving First Book’s ability to collect and analyze data, and helping expand the reach and impact of the marketplace.

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Free Books Given Out in Leon County

ABC-WTXL, April 1, 2017

In Leon County, 2,000 community members signed a petition asking First Book to provide books for free. On Saturday, April 1st, First Book, the Florida Education Association, the Leon County Teachers Association, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Leon County School District responded with 40,000 free books for children and educators.

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Non-Profit to Give Away 40,000 Books to the Community

ABC-WTXL, March 31, 2017

The Florida Education Association, the Leon County Teachers Association, and the American Federation of Teachers are partnering with the Leon County School District and First Book, a national non-profit, to give away than 40,000 books on Saturday.

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Fueling Learning for Children in Need

Arch Street Press, March 5, 2017

Listen to First Book President and CEO Kyle Zimmer discuss the beginnings of the organization, the social enterprise model, and her own path from lawyer to nonprofit founder.

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Charity Hands Books to Children in District

The Washington Times, March 2, 2017

Hundreds of D.C. public schoolchildren packed into the gym at Walker-Jones Education Center on Thursday, eager to become first-time book owners. The kids each got to take home three books for free — courtesy of the professional services company KPMG and First Book.

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Barack and Michelle Obama Land Reported $65 Million Book Deal

Vanity Fair, March 1, 2017

Penguin Random House will publish two books by Barack and Michelle Obama, and will donate one million books to First Book in the Obama family’s name.

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Obamas Sign Book Deals with Penguin Random House

The Washington Post, Feb. 28, 2017

Penguin Random House has netted separate, lucrative book deals with former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, who plan to write about their time in the White House. The publisher will also donate a million books in the Obamas’ name to First Book.

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Penguin Random House Acquires Global Rights to Books by Obamas

Wall Street Journal, Feb. 28, 2017

In a major publishing coup of the year, Penguin Random House said it has acquired world rights to separate books by former U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. It will also donate one million books in the Obama family’s name to First Book.

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Penguin Random House Announces Book Deal With the Obamas

NPR, Feb. 28, 2017

Penguin Random House will publish two books, one written by former President Barack Obama and one by former first lady Michelle Obama, and donate one million books in the Obama family’s name to First Book.

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Obamas Make Book Deal With Penguin Random House

The New York Times, Feb. 28, 2017

Penguin Random House will publish coming books by former President Barack Obama and the former first lady Michelle Obama,and will donate one million books in the Obama family’s name to First Book.

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First Book: A Novel Model for Social Enterprises

Wharton Social Impact Imitative, Feb. 15, 2017

First Book’s President and CEO Kyle Zimmer spoke to Katherine Klein, management professor and vice dean of the Wharton Social Impact Initiative, about the hybrid business model First Book has adopted that is key to its success.

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Upworthy Shares 20 Ways to Invest in the Future of Education.

Upworthy, Feb. 7, 2017

First Book gets a mention as Upworthy shares tips for ordinary people who want to support public education.

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Getting Good Books Into the Hands of Low-Income Children

The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Feb. 3, 2017

First Book’s President and CEO, Kyle Zimmer, joins Denver Frederick on The Business of Giving podcast, highlighted byThe Chronicle of Philanthropy. The two discuss the history of First Book, where First Book is going, and the impact of social enterprise.

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First Book: The First 25 Years

Education Market Association’s Essentials, Jan. 1, 2017

First Book’s Senior Vice President of Ecommerce, Carey Palmquist, authors an article in Education Market Association’s Essentials magazine discussing First Book’s growth.

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Donate to Literacy Charities for #GivingTuesday

AdWeek, November 29, 2016

First Book’s #GivingTuesday partnership with Penguin Random House and Zulily was featured in Galley Cat, the publishing industry focused blog in the Adweek network. Read More

Moving On Up: ‘They All Saw a Cat’

Publishers Weekly, November 29, 2016

Publishers Weekly tells the story of how ‘They All Saw a Cat’ came to be and the success author and illustrator Brendan Wenzel’s book has had, including an event with First Book and UFT in New York City. Read More

Holiday 2016: 20 Places to Shop for Gifts that Give Back

Forbes, November 25, 2016

Forbes features companies that are partnering with good causes this holiday season including children’s gear retailer Zulily, who is generously matching book purchases with a donation to First Book. Read More

Open Ebooks Announces Compatibility with Clever

Digital Book World, September 13, 2016

Digital Book World highlights the Open Ebooks partnerships and the role First Book is playing in bringing digital content to kids in need. Read More

Pizza Hut® Announces Global Commitment to Literacy and Reading through Pizza Hut: The Literacy Project

Newswire, September 8, 2016

First Book is proud to take part in Pizza Hut’s new literacy campaign, Pizza Hut: The Literacy Project. Read more to learn about the exciting partnership and how the two organizations plan to make a positive impact on the lives of children in need. Read More

20,000 Jason Reynolds’ Books Donated to Children in Need

Look to the Stars, August 24, 2016

Look to the Stars tracks and reports on everything from the world of celebrity giving. They thought so much of Simon & Schuster’s recent donation of 20,000 books by author Jason Reynolds that they chose to highlight the generous donation to kids in need. Read More

Realizing the Multiplier Effect of Books

Reading Village, May 18, 2016

First Book’s President and CEO Kyle Zimmer authors a guest blog post for Reading Village in which she discusses the impact of books on children and their communities. Read More

Open Books, Open Worlds: 6 Ways to Get Free (or Cheap) Books for Kids

Indian Country Today, April 20, 2016

Books can be prohibitively expensive. Indian Country today highlights several ways to make books afforable (or free) including First Book and Open eBooks, a recent partnership between Digital Public Library of America, The New York Public Library, and First Book. Read More

Balancing the Books

GW Magazine, April 14, 2016

GW Magazine highlights First Book’s work with specific programs and explores the organization’s history while profiling President and CEO, Kyle Zimmer, a George Washington University alumna. Read More


School Reading Unbound: A New Project Aims to Bring e-Books to Lower-Income Students

Slate, March 24, 2015

Slate details the launch of the Open eBooks, an initiative designed to provide high-quality e-books to children from low-income families.
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First Book Mixes Market Forces and Philanthropy to Help Poor Children

Washington Post, December 27, 2015

Washington Post education reporter, Lyndsey Layton, describes how First Book is using market forces to bring a full range of books, educational resources and basic necessities to support educational equality and help educators and programs meet the challenges of serving children in need.
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Warehouse Full of Free Books Distributed to Tucson Kids

Arizona Public Media, December 11, 2015

A dozen semi-tractor trailers carrying half a million new books for kids made their way to a Tucson warehouse this week.
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First Book: A Story (Within a Story) of Transformation

Dallas News, December 11, 2015

Nonprofit Finance Fund highlights First Book’s work to circulate more than 130 million books since 1992 to benefit children in underserved communities.
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Ford, Houston Ford Dealers Launch $100,000 in Scholarships and Donate 10,000 New Books to Accelerate Education

Ford Press Release, December 8, 2015

Ford Motor Company Fund and the Houston Area Ford Dealers partner with First Book to donate 10,000 new books to nearly 100 schools and programs serving low-income communities.
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Hundreds of Volunteers Gather for Major Book Distribution

KVOA, December 7, 2015

Thousands of free books given to organizations around the country that serve children thanks to First Book, with 220,000 books staying in Tucson, Arizona.
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Classroom, Inc. Partners with First Book

Classroom, Inc., December 7, 2015

Classroom, Inc. and First Book launch a partnership to provide Title I schools access to Classroom, Inc.’s Read to Lead literacy game series.
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Here Are 15 Literary Nonprofits to Donate to this #GivingTuesday

Bustle, December 1, 2015

First Book featured as one of the 15 literary nonprofits to donate to this #GivingTuesday by Bustle.
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Book Donation Effort Leaves Lasting Impact on Young Minds in Border Cities

Dallas News, November 27, 2015

Karen Furlong, the founder of Starr Readers, receives books for area children from First Book.
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6 KISD Schools Receive Thousands of New Books

Killeen Daily Herald, November 18, 2015

Six schools in the Killeen Independent School District received more than 4,000 free new books Tuesday, thanks to First Book and the Blackboard book drive.
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New Brunswick Students Get New Books

Newbrunswick Patch, November 2, 2015

Students at a New Brunswick school received new books last week, thanks to donations from a nonprofit group and an area business.
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IT Firm Donates 6,250 Books to Jefferson City Schools

News Tribune, October 27, 2015

First Book and Wipro kick off their partnership with a reading celebration and donation of books in Jefferson City, Mo.
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Local Elementary Schools to Share Donation of 10,000 Books

Metro West Daily News, October 2, 2015

In partnership with Middlesex Savings Bank and CBS Ecomedia, First Book provided 10,000 new books to six elementary schools in Massachusetts.
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Creating a Market for Diverse Books

Lee & Low Blog, September 30, 2015

Publisher Lee & Low interviews First Book President, CEO and Co-founder Kyle Zimmer about First Book’s Stories for All Project™ as part of their How We Did It series, spotlighting people and organizations doing important work to support diversity in publishing and beyond.
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Penguin and Books A Million Launch Campaign to Donate Books to Children in Need

Children’s Book Council, September 17, 2015

Books-A-Million, Penguin and author Brad Metzler announce a new partnership to benefit First Book.
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Free Books to Open New Chapter for Kids

Kansas City Star, September 16, 2015

An editorial in the Kansas City Star shares the significance of the upcoming, largest-ever book distribution in the Kansas City area.
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Free Books Given to Families and Schools in Need

WNCT, Channel 9, August 29, 2015

WNCT Channel 9 reports on a recent book distribution in Greenville, NC conducted in partnership with Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
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Arlington: Joint Effort Distributes 900 Backpacks

The Arlington Connection, August 18, 2015

Representatives from The Reading Connection, First Book, Boeing and other partner agencies stuff more than 900 backpacks with school supplies and books for local children in need.
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How Can We Get Books to the Children Who Need Them Most?

World Economic Forum, August 14, 2015

The World Economic Forum speaks to President and CEO of First Book, Kyle Zimmer, as part of a blog series on Social Entrepreneurs.
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Thousands of Books to Be Donated to Springfield Kids

Western Mass News, July 28, 2015

The Springfield Federation of Paraprofessionals challenges educators to sign up with First Book to bring 40,000 brand new books to students before the new school year.
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Playstreets Aims to Get Kids Reading this Summer

WPVI-TV, July 28, 2015

First Book volunteers in Philadelphia provide new books to hundreds of children across the city through the local Playstreet program.
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The Unexpected Place Where the White House Wants Your Kids to Read

Washington Post, July 29, 2015

First Book joins White House officials and nonprofit partners at Eddie’s Hair Design in Washington for a read-along with local kids, emphasizing the need for age-appropriate books in community gathering places where kids spend time.
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San Diego Students Receive Backpacks With STEM Books

Critical Mention, June 30, 2015

First Book fills backpacks with STEM Books for kids in several San Diego Schools as part of the U.S. STEM Solutions Conference.
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PODCAST: The Book Riot Podcast, Episode #105

Book Riot, May 11, 2015

In their May 11 podcast, Book Riot highlights First Book’s Stories for All Project and why they are proud to have selected the organization as their 2015 charitable partner. Tune in at 13:40.
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First Book to Publish 60,000 Copies of Diverse Children’s Titles

School Library Journal, May 14, 2015

School Library Journal details the 2015 Stories for All Project title selections and how First Book is making them available to kids in need and beyond.
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Nonprofit First Book Will Donate 60,000 Diverse Children’s Books To Kids Who Need Them

Bustle, May 9, 2015

Kathleen Culliton of Bustle shares why First Book’s Stories for All Project matters: “kids who love to read are kids who can relate to the books they are given.”
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First Book to Give 60K Diverse Children’s Books to Kids in Need

GalleyCat, May 8, 2015

GalleyCat shares First Book’s latest Stories for All Project effort to make 60,000 children’s books featuring diverse voices and experiences available in trade paperback format for the first time ever.
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Springfield’s Ozarks Literacy Council Receives Books from First Book

KSPR, May 12, 2015

The Ozarks Literacy Council (OLC) receives one thousand new books from First Book. The books will be provided to kids in the region through OLC’s existing backpack program.
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More Books for Rural Kids, Classrooms, May Decrease Summer Learning Loss

Education Week, May 12, 2015

Education Week shares findings of a new report, Read for Success: Combating the Summer Learning Slide in America, which followed rural or low-income students in 16 states for two years to see if summer learning loss could be mitigated.
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Third Graders Get Free Books for Summer

9 News, May 11, 2015

Students from 21 Jefferson County, Colo. schools are taking home new, diverse books to read this summer thanks to a donation from First Book and community partners. Each school also received 100 new books for their library.
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First Book, Corporate Partners Make 60,000 Books Available to Children in Need

Publishers Weekly, May 5, 2015

Publishers Weekly breaks the First Book’s announcement to make 60,000 diverse, inclusive books available to kids in need through the Stories for All Project.
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The Triumphs and Tribulations of Impact Investing

Huffington Post, April 24, 2015

Kyle Zimmer, First Book President and CEO, and Jane Robinson, CFO, discuss the achievements and challenges of impact investing, which were on display at Oxford University’s Said Business School this month at a gathering of investors, social entreprenuers and other stakeholders.
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Disney’s ‘Magic of Storytelling’ Literacy Campaign Kicks Off to Provide Up to 1 Million Books to Kids

Yahoo News, January 20, 2015

Yahoo News shares the Magic of Storytelling campaign and First Book partnership with Disney and ABC.
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First Book Team Shares the Magic of Storytelling

The View, March 4, 2015

First Book COO Chandler Arnold appears on The View to announce the Hot Dudes Reading for a Cause campaign to promote the Magic of Storytelling.
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Hot Dudes Reading for First Book

The Chew, March 4, 2015

The Chew announces the partnership between @hotdudesreading and First Book and shares the Magic of Storytelling campaign.
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We Practice Charity: The Recipient

Book Riot, March 17, 2015

Riot New Media announces First Book as its 2015 charitable partner.
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Volunteers Needed to Help Book Donation Distribution

NBC/WMC Action News, March 9, 2015

NBC/WMC Actions News at 5 reports the 500,000 book donation to Memphis area provided by First Book and Literacy Mid-South partnership.
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Half a Million Children’s Books to be Given to Those in Need

CBS/WREG News, March 9, 2015

CBS/WREG News Channel 3 announces First Book’s partnership with literacy Mid-South and collaborative donation to Memphis schools and libraries.
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Don’t Be Camera Shy: Making the Case for Instagram

Associations Now, March 12, 2015

Associations Now announces First Book’s partnership with @hotdudesreading on Instagram and highlights the benefits of the social media platform in engaging with nonprofit networks.
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Just-Launched Website Lets Ordinary People Give Away Corporations’ Money

The Chronicle of Philanthropy, March 11, 2015

The Chronicle of Philanthropy describes the charitable online platform, Viewers to Volunteers, mentioning First Book’s involvement as a nonprofit affiliate.
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Literacy Organizations Donating Nearly 500,000 Free Books

The Commercial Appeal,  March 12, 2015

The Commercial Appeal recognizes Frist Book’s partnership with Literacy Mid-South and the collaborative donation to several schools and libraries in Memphis.
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James Patterson Donating New Book to First Book

Shelf Awareness, March 16, 2015

Shelf Awareness reports on James Patterson’s donation of 100,000 copies of his new middle-grade book Public School Superhero to under-resourced schools and youth programs through First Book.
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10 Awesome Book Charities That Help Kids All Over The World

The Huffington Post, March 11, 2015

First Book joins other great organizations on The Huffington Post’s list of the 10 best organizations that help to get books to kids.
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Speed Reading Raises Awareness for Nonprofit First Book

Right This Minute, February 6, 2015

Right This Minute speed reads in support of First Book and Disney ABC’s Magic of Storytelling campaign.
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Mercer Joins First Book Initiative

Central Jersey, January 23, 2015

Mercer County Community College (MCCC) announces partnership with First Book, Burlington County College (BCC), the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education and the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (AACCNJ) to deliver more than 40,000 free, high-quality books to children in need.
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Take a #Shelfie for Disney’s ‘Magic of Storytelling’ Campaign

Good Morning America, January 20, 2015

Ginger Zee kicks off First Book and Disney | ABC’s Magic of Storytelling campaign with a call for #sheflies on Good Morning America.
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