Teachers Join Forces With First Book: Weingarten Challenges AFT Members to Give Five Million Books to Kids in Need

This is our new challenge. Today I am calling on AFT members to partner with First Book to distribute five million new books this year to students in need.
— Randi Weingarten, AFT president

First Book was in Detroit over the weekend, attending the annual convention of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), one of the nation’s largest teachers’ unions.

Teachers are some of our favorite people; more than anyone, they understand the importance of books and reading, and why an ongoing supply of quality books is so important for turning kids into strong readers and successful students.

We’re especially excited to be working with the 1.5 million teachers, librarians and school staff that make up the AFT. Over the past year, we’ve completed successful pilot projects together in over 20 cities across the country, putting nearly 250,000 new books into the hands of children from low-income families.

Now the AFT is stepping up to do even more. At the convention, AFT president Randi Weingarten challenged the assembled educators to distribute five million new books over the next year.

“By working with our friends in the AFT, we’re able to reach thousands more schools serving kids in need,” said First Book president Kyle Zimmer. “The dedication of these educators is inspiring. Everyone at First Book is proud to be able to help them make a difference in their students’ lives.”

Any teachers, librarians or school staff working with children from low-income families can sign up with First Book to access a steady stream of new, quality books.

Click below to see a video of Kyle talking to the assembled AFT educators about our work together, and about her memories of Mrs. Evans, her own unforgettable first-grade teacher.