First Book’s COVID-19 Action Response Fueled by Generosity of Publishing and Product Partners

More than 8 million Books Ready to Ship Along with eBooks, Learning Toys and Digital Products; 1.3 Million Books And 2 Million Digital Resources Already Delivered to Kids in Need

April 9, 2020 (WASHINGTON) — First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise focused on equal access to quality education, today announced that its COVID-19 Action Response is fully underway thanks to the generosity of the organization’s long-standing publishing partners who have responded to the crisis by donating large quantities of books to meet the need of educators and program leaders nationwide. In addition, several product partners have also stepped up to donate much needed items beyond books, including eBook service subscriptions.

“We would not be in a position to make such a powerful impact on children in need without the support of these amazing partners,” said Kyle Zimmer, president, CEO and co-founder of First Book. “These books are so meaningful.  They super-charge learning for kids in need, who are particularly vulnerable right now—when schools closed, these kids lost a place that was not only providing education, but so many different forms of critical support. These beautiful new books make it possible to provide tremendous support for kids who need it. Not a day goes by that we aren’t grateful to our publishers.”

To date, there are more than 6,000 members of the First Book Network who have volunteered to serve as mini-distribution hubs by working with feeding sites, housing authorities, and others supporting emergency programming on the ground. The number of educators who have raised their hands to help continues to grow each day.

In addition, First Book has a network of partner organizations including the American Federation of Teachers, Save the Children, Unidos US, Feeding America, and others that are ready to distribute books quickly.

So far, First Book has shipped 1.3 million books, in addition to learning toys and basic needs items and distributed digital access codes for more than 2 million children. The organization is raising much-needed funds to cover the cost of shipping and handling to respond to the continually growing need.

First Book’s COVID-19 Action Response has been fueled by generous book donations from:

  • Albert Whitman & Company
  • Barefoot Books
  • Candlewick Press
  • Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Chronicle Books
  • Disney Publishing Worldwide
  • DK
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Lee & Low Books
  • MacMillan Publishers
  • Penguin Random House; US Children’s Divisions – Random House Children’s Books and Penguin Young Readers
  • Workman Publishing Company

Donations beyond books, including basic needs items and digital product donations, have come from the following:

  • Noggin
  • Red Apple Reading
  • Rubbabu
  • Stormtech
  • Tinkercast, LLC

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 200 million books and educational resources, with a retail value of more than $2.0 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 475,000 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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