Who We Are
At First Book, we are building a path out of poverty through educational equity. Our purpose is as bold as it is urgent: To create systemic change. To ensure equal access to quality education. To empower every educator and all the children in need whom they serve.
Media Contact: Ian Kenison
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.
Ian Kenison | firstname.lastname@example.org
2021 Impact In Review
Taking Action When Needs Are Most Acute | The New York Times
Bolstering Inner Resilience and Choosing the Creative Path | The New York Times
Nonprofit Holiday Gift Guide | Nonprofit Megaphone
First Book Rallies Nonprofits in Push for Diverse, Affordable Children’s Books | Publishers Weekly
When a Sharpened Pencil Just Isn’t Enough | The New York Times
How Oprah Had an Effect on Lupita Nyong’O’s Self-Esteem | Oprah Daily
ABC’s of School Mental Wellness | The American Consortium for Equity in Education
First Book Spearheads Classroom Library Quality Control Initiative | Publishers Weekly
New York Times Games Invites Spelling Bee Players to Game for Good | The New York Times
How We Do It
First Book is a social enterprise, applying proven strategies of the private sector to fuel our work as a non-profit with a growing ecosystem of models that work both individually and collectively to create impact. We have aggregated the First Book Network, North America’s largest group of educators (more than 550,000 professionals) serving kids in need. The Network keeps growing by nearly 1,000 new members each week.
Original Research Harnesses the Voice of Educators
We conduct original research that amplifies the voices of our Network members and identifies their needs. We then engage field experts to create tools and resources to address those needs. We curate culturally relevant educational resources that resonate with our membership and the diverse children they serve, and leverage the power of aggregated buying to make these books and resources free or affordable through the First Book Marketplace, our award-winning eCommerce site.
Continuous Innovation to Elevate Impact
We drive constant innovation and collaborate with field-leading organizations to continue elevating our models and bringing the best insights and new practices to the field of education while generating sustainable revenue to continue our work. We form win-win relationships that benefit those we serve, as well as the publishers, suppliers, purposeful corporations, governments, and other key stakeholders committed to improving educational equity.
System-changing Models Addressing the Whole Child
Finally, we address the needs of the whole child, supporting their education, basic needs, and wellness – all of which are essential to educational equity. Through our sophisticated distribution system, we efficiently deliver help where it is needed. The First Book educator-centric integrated design, grounded in rapid-cycle feedback, and powered by innovation and entrepreneurial thinking, provides hope and promise to children living in poverty and the educators who serve them.