Author Archives: Kyle Zimmer

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Focus on First Book

The Collective Power of a Nation of Readers

This piece also appears on The Huffington Post’s Impact blog. Steve White, a volunteer at a local nonprofit, worked through the holidays to ensure that 3,000 kids in need in Denver would have brand-new books of their own at Christmas. Elisa Mayo, the finance coordinator for a school… Read More
Focus on First Book, Impact Stories

496 Million Women

496 million. That’s how many women in the world can’t read or write even the most simple sentence. Many women never have the opportunity to reach 6th grade, and some don’t get to go to school at all. Today, we join citizens around the world in celebrating International Women’s Day,… Read More
Impact Stories

Ruth P. Graves: Lifelong Champion of Children and Reading

Today we honor the memory of a lifelong champion of children and reading who recently passed away. Ruth P. Graves, President Emerita of Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), was an early supporter of First Book and a leader who displayed a passion for reaching children through books. Ruth believed that… Read More
Focus on First Book, Impact Stories, Our Partners

The Power of Children’s Books to Change the World

In 2012, Malala Yousafzai, age 15, was shot in the face by Taliban thugs for daring to promote education for women and girls in her native Pakistan. She has not only survived, she has taken her cause to the global level. Her speech before the United Nations inspired the… Read More
Impact Stories

Meet Keondra, A Formerly Reluctant Reader

I want to tell you a story about Keondra. In a few days, Keondra will start second grade at Harrowgate Elementary School in Chester, Virginia. She cannot wait to be back in the classroom. When she began elementary school, Keondra was a reluctant reader. She struggled academically. And… Read More
Focus on First Book

Investing in Education: Kyle Zimmer's Reaction to the State of the Union

“Every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on – by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime.” — President Barack Obama I was grateful to hear the president talk about early childhood education tonight, and the enormous impact it… Read More
Focus on First Book

Our Big Year Together

Happy holidays, from everyone at First Book! We had a big year here at First Book! I want to let you know everything we accomplished this year, and ask for your support as we continue our work to transform education by bringing new books to children… Read More
Focus on First Book

Creating Success Stories for 20 Years

Twenty years ago I was volunteering every week at a soup kitchen in Washington, D.C., where I met the most amazing children and families. As I got to know them, I saw how much they had to struggle, but I also saw how bright they were and how motivated they… Read More
Focus on First Book, Impact Stories

What Is Social Entrepreneurship? (And Why First Book Is Such a Good Example)

A social entrepreneur is someone who sees a social problem — like hunger, homelessness or lack of access to clean water — and looks for ways to solve it. Unlike more traditional business entrepreneurs, who are trying to generate profits, social entrepreneurs are trying to change society. Long-term change is… Read More