Give a Million: First Book aims to Raise $1 Million for 1 Million Books

First Book Launches ‘Give a Million’ Campaign to Raise $1 Million to get 1 Million Books to Kids in Need This Holiday Season

Award-winning authors have contributed a total of $125,000 to kick off campaign

WASHINGTON (December 2, 2019) – First Book, the nonprofit social enterprise focused on equal access to quality education, today announced that it has launched Give a Million, a Giving Tuesday campaign designed to raise $1 million between now and December 6th to get 1 million new, high-quality books to children in need in time for the holidays.

Approximately $125,000 has been raised through generous donations from award-winning authors and their foundations, including Alane Adams and the Rise Up Foundation, the Mo and Cher Willems Foundation, and Marissa Meyer and Jesse Taylor.

“Bringing new books to kids in need has an immeasurable impact, and for many kids, it will be the first book they have ever owned, or the only gift they will receive during the holidays,” said Kyle Zimmer, president, CEO and co-founder of First Book. “The sense of self-esteem that comes with that is worth far more than $1 million, and the fact that it also furthers their academic possibilities makes the gift of a book invaluable. This is an easy ask—grant a wish and give a child a future of possibility.”

Book ownership and a print-rich environment are leading indicators of a child’s educational success, but for the 32 million children growing up in low-income families in the U.S., books are scarce. A recent study found that in one low-income neighborhood, there was only one book for more than 800 children, whereas in moderate income neighborhoods, there are 13 books for every child.[1], [2] Moreover, in a poll of the First Book network of educators, 82 percent of respondents reported that without First Book, their students would have very few or no new books.

Thanks to generous book donations and additional support from First Book’s publishing partners, the Give a Million campaign will have the limited opportunity to gift a brand-new book directly to a child in need for just $1: $100 will support a classroom, $500 will support a grade level, $1,000 will support a school, and $5,000 will support an entire community. Click here for more information and to donate.

First Book President, CEO, and Co-founder Kyle Zimmer discusses Give a Million on “Good Day Washington:

About First Book

Founded in Washington, D.C., in 1992 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit social enterprise, First Book is a leader in the educational equity field. Over its 27-year history, First Book has distributed more than 185 million books and educational resources, with a value of more than $1.5 billion. First Book believes education offers children in need the best path out of poverty. First Book breaks down barriers to quality education by providing its network of more than 450,000 registered teachers, librarians, after school program leaders, and others serving children in need with millions of free and affordable new, high-quality books, educational resources, and basic needs items through the award-winning First Book Marketplace nonprofit eCommerce site. The First Book Network comprises the largest and fastest-growing community of formal and informal educators serving children in need.

First Book also expands the breadth and depth of the education field through a family of social enterprises, including First Book Research & Insights, its proprietary research initiative, and the First Book Accelerator, which brings best-in-class research to the classroom via relevant, usable educator resources. First Book Impact Funds target support to areas of particular need, such as rural communities or increasing diversity in children’s books.

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[1] Susan B. Neuman, Naomi Moland. “Book Deserts.” Urban Education, 2016. DOI: 10.1177/0042085916654525

[2] Sikora, et al. DOI