Kyle Zimmer, CEO of First Book

First Book CEO Kyle Zimmer Receives Ms. Foundation Award for Igniting Culture Change, Breaking Down Barriers Across Gender and Racial Lines

WASHINGTON, April 27, 2016 – Today the Ms. Foundation for Women will honor Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book, with the 2016 Peggy Charren/Free to Be Award, provided to individuals in media whose work contributes to breaking through gender and racial lines. The award will be presented by Marlo Thomas, Ms. Foundation co-founder and author of Free to Be You and Me, as part of the Ms. Foundation’s Gloria Awards. Named after Ms. Foundation co-founder Gloria Steinem, the Gloria Awards honor grassroots women activists, innovators and philanthropists who ignite policy and culture change on behalf of women, families and communities nationwide.

Zimmer co-founded First Book in 1992 as a nonprofit social enterprise to address a widespread social issue: the lack of books and educational resources for children growing up in low-income families, and the educators and programs that serve them. Since then, First Book has provided more than 145 million high quality, new books and learning materials for children in need ages 0 – 18, at the lowest costs possible and for free.

“It is an incredible honor to receive this recognition from the Ms. Foundation,” said Zimmer. “For decades Gloria Steinem, Marlo Thomas and others have modeled the power of collective action to break down barriers for women and families. This same model forms the foundation of First Book – as we work to unify the collective and economic power of heroic educators who are serving children in need in every imaginable setting – libraries, classrooms, homeless shelters, afterschool programs. With more than half of all U.S. children attending public schools growing up in low-income families, the demands on schools and educators is increasing. We are committed to focusing that collective power to fuel equal education and ensure that all children have equal opportunities to realize their full potential.”

Organizations serving children in need can sign up to access First Book’s resources at For more information on First Book’s work, visit


About First Book

First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed more than 145 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, 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 For more information, please visit or follow the latest news on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Contact:
Connect with our media team or download our media kit via the First Book Press Room.

image of a young woman laying in the grass, smiling and reading a book. There is light blue boxes with purple text that say, 'Share Your Favorite Summer Read for Our New Online Album. Take a selfie with your favorite summer read and upload it by July 22 to celebrate our First Book family and the work we’re doing together! Send your selfie.'