a librarian smiling and holding some books. She is gesturing to a table with more books on display in a library.

Three Reasons to Join First Book: Insights from Our Network of Educators

Joey Mathis is a First Book Marketing and Communication intern. She is currently an undergrad student at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.

According to a survey conducted by First Book in 2021, nearly 60 percent of educators spent between $100 and $500 out-of-pocket on classroom supplies. With classroom budgets often minuscule or nonexistent, educators are left to provide books, decorations, and other classroom necessities out of their own pockets. That’s where First Book comes in. First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise on a mission to support educators and students around the country by addressing educational inequity. First Book provides books, school supplies, and other classroom necessities at affordable prices (and sometimes for free!) to eligible educators and the communities they serve.  

More than 550,000 educators and program leaders make up First Book’s Network, and that number is always growing. Eligible educators are qualified to join the First Book Network and access the First Book Marketplace to obtain affordable educational resources. Here are some more reasons to become a member of our Network for free—from current members themselves!  

Why Do Educators Like First Book?

1. Brand New, High-Quality Books at Low Prices 

The First Book Marketplace offers a wide selection of brand-new, high-quality books to our Network members. Not only are the prices affordable, but we work with dozens of corporate and nonprofit partners, as well as generous donors, to provide additional opportunities for our members to acquire books and resources at no cost! Just listen to what some of our members have to say: 

Elendria M. shares, “I have had such a great experience with First Book! I love the prices and the ways teachers can save money. I am passionate about reading and First Book allows me to get connected to great resources. This is a company that I would actually love to work for because they believe in giving to our children the love of Reading!!”  

“Thank you for providing books to my students for such low costs. Being a new teacher, I started the school year without any books. Thanks to this organization, I now have over 50 books in my library, with more coming!”

– Nga N.

2. Diverse and Inclusive Selection

First Book is committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), as well as Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) in the educational and literary world. The selection of books available on the Marketplace reflects these ideals, allowing educators to provide diverse stories to the children they serve, and help them develop crucial skills like empathy and emotional regulation.  

Tiffany B. shares her experience, “This year, I have focused on curating a diverse book collection in our classroom libraries. First Book Marketplace has been a one-stop shop for supporting this effort. We have been able to find books for all ages and reading levels where students can see themselves and others in quality literature.”  

“First Book does a great job keeping stocked with current book trends at reasonable prices for schools and teachers on budgets. If it weren’t for First Book, our classroom libraries would not be as current as they are.”

– Kristine P. 

3. Accessibility and Efficiency 

The First Book Marketplace is designed with convenience in mind! Ordering books online, whether it’s one or a hundred, is a breeze, and they can be shipped directly to your location. Filter categories allow you to personalize your search for your community’s needs or specific educational requirements. Don’t wait – check out the Marketplace today!  

Sarah W. commends the resourcefulness of First Book, saying, “First Book is a great resource! I am able to find a large selection of titles that interest my students at a cost that doesn’t break the bank. I am able to quickly search by age range, genre, and even price. I appreciate being able to get a class set of a book I wouldn’t otherwise have access to, and the ability to give books to students that they otherwise wouldn’t have encountered or sought out.” 

“We have been members of First Book for more than 10 years. Each year brings more to the members. Free teaching resources, tools for communicating with families as well as improvements in the website making it easier and more efficient to navigate.”

– Patricia G. 

Ready to Join?

Become a member of the First Book Network for free today to start taking advantage of these incredible benefits! Creating an account takes about five minutes. If you have any questions about First Book or need assistance signing up, please feel welcome to contact our friendly Member Services team at 1-866-READ-NOW or help@firstbook.org.