First Book Brings 150,000 Books to Kids in Need for Summer Reading

Today is not only the official first day of summer, it’s also National Summer Learning Day. First Book couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than by bringing 150,000 brand-new books to the National Mall to stuff into backpacks going to children in need all over the country.

The nation’s capitol is having a stretch of lovely weather this week, so our staff is joining the United Way and their army of volunteers to make this happen.

Summer is a great time of the year for readers. Instead of reading what you were told to read, you get to read whatever you want. And, if you’re lucky, you get to sit on the beach, reading and getting sunburned.

But for lots of kids, summer isn’t a time for reading. And that’s not so great, because there is a very real drop-off in achievement for kids from low-income homes. This gap puts them even further behind their more fortunate classmates, leading directly to lower test scores, lower rates of graduation and lower chances of going to college or finding good jobs.

But you can help turn it around! Visit our friends at the National Summer Learning Association to find out ways to help kids in your life, and if there’s a school or community program near you that serves kids from low-income neighborhoods, reach out to a librarian, reading teacher or program leader and tell them about First Book. Once they register with us, we can ensure they have a steady stream of new books, this summer and throughout the year.