Local Educator “Book Wishes” Granted in Celebration of WrestleMania®
DALLAS, March 22, 2016 – Fifty-nine schools and programs in Dallas, Arlington and Fort Worth are receiving nearly 50,000 brand-new books this month thanks to global entertainment company WWE and First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise that provides books, educational resources and other essentials to children in need. With WrestleMania coming to AT&T Stadium on Sunday, April 3, WWE and First Book partnered to grant local “book wishes” as part of the annual WrestleMania Reading Challenge.
WWE and First Book invited local educators to submit a “book wish” to receive up to 1,000 books for their classroom or program. Educators were asked to share how books make a difference in the lives of the kids they serve, including a description of their classroom or program and how they would make use of the books requested.
Nila Miller, a fifth grade teacher at W.A. Blair Elementary School in Dallas, submitted a book wish for 1,000 books in hopes of revamping her school’s classroom libraries.
“Nearly all of my students live in the apartment complex near the school,” writes Miller in her book wish. “With the right books and topics of books, our students will be introduced to a genre of reading that will allow them to experience the world outside of the community they live in. I want our students to be inspired through reading.”
Local educators in the nonprofit’s network of classrooms and community programs serving children in need were offered the opportunity to apply for book wishes. First Book received 70 book wishes from 59 different local schools and programs.
“Evident in all the book wishes we received from educators was the desire to give kids in need the same opportunities to learn as their higher-income peers,” says Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book. “First Book is thrilled to support kids and educators in Dallas by fulfilling their book wishes in partnership with our generous friends at WWE.”
Another book wish came from Franchesca Sanchez, a school counselor at Trinity Basin Prepratory School’s Ewing campus. Sanchez finds students better comprehend basic life skills, coping skills and emotional intelligence when taught through stories. She requested 1,000 books for daily use with her students, more than 85 percent of whom live in low-income, minority households.
“We believe our kids deserve the same chances as any other child,” says Sanchez. “We want to make sure they are exposed to the world through books.”
“We are proud to partner with First Book and continue our commitment to education and literacy initiatives through the WrestleMania Reading Challenge,” said Stephanie McMahon, WWE Chief Brand Officer. “With this year’s local book wish program, we are pleased to be able to address important social issues while providing a lasting impact on local youth in the Dallas community.”
Other Dallas-area schools and programs serving children in need are encouraged to sign up with First Book for ongoing access to free and affordable books and educational resources at www.firstbook.org/join.
About First Book
First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed more than 140 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada. By making new, high-quality books and educational resources available on an ongoing basis to its network of educators and program leaders, First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education. Eligible educators, librarians, providers, and others serving children in need can sign up at firstbook.org/register. For more information, please visit firstbook.org or follow the latest news on Facebook and Twitter.
WWE is committed to leveraging the power of its brand and platforms to help address important social issues worldwide including diversity and inclusion, education, military support and providing hope to those in need. Through partnerships with First Book, Special Olympics, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Ad Council, GLAAD, Susan G. Komen, Make-A-Wish, Hire Heroes USA and USO Metro, WWE supports programs and initiatives that positively impact children and families around the world. For more information about WWE, please visit community.wwe.com.
Melanie Boyer, First Book