group of kids sitting at a long table, reading books

First Book and The New York Times Communities Fund

Imagine a world where every child experiences the benefits of a quality education. We’re on a mission to ensure that all children, regardless of their background or zip code, can succeed– by removing barriers to equitable education.

Transforming Lives through Your Generosity

Your generosity is at the heart of our mission, propelling us to transform the lives of children in need by elevating the quality of their education. Together, we’re making a tangible impact, reaching millions of children and educators each year.

Your donation of $20 welcomes one new teacher and 30 students into the First Book national network, providing access to books and other critical literacy resources that support a high-quality education for children at the least-resourced schools in the US.

Our History with The New York Times Communities Fund

graphic with text that reads, 'Beneficiary since 2020. The New York Times Communities Fund. Formerly The Neediest Cases Fund.'

We are incredibly grateful for The New York Times Communities Fund’s partnership over the last three years. In 2020, amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the support from The New York Times Communities Fund empowered First Book to distribute nearly 400,000 books nationwide. This initiative addressed the distinct challenges faced by educators and students during uncertain times. In 2021, leveraging the funding, First Book took a proactive stance on mental health in education, launching “Taking Care: Healthy Habits for Student Emotional Wellness,” a comprehensive program that made a positive impact on students’ well-being. Throughout 2022, the Fund allowed First Book to distribute over 75,000 books, conduct critical research studies, and connect over 1,100 educators to First Book, ensuring sustainable access to free and low-cost, high-quality books and educational resources for their students for years to come. Looking to 2023, The New York Times Communities Fund will empower First Book to welcome more educators, impacting students and driving systemic change towards equity in education.

About The New York Times Communities Fund

The New York Times Communities Fund continues the 112-year legacy of The Neediest Cases Fund by assisting local, national and global nonprofits as they work to provide direct support to people who are facing hardship. The Times has supported and nurtured the fund for more than 100 years. Over that time, it has raised more than $330 million for nonprofit organizations that have helped countless people improve their circumstances and lead more enriching lives.

Year over year, First Book’s aim is to further expand access to high-quality, affordable books and critical resources for Title I educators across the country and the families they serve. The New York Times Communities Fund’s support is vital in bolstering classroom and home libraries with books inspiring and empowering our nation’s students, especially during the holiday season when many children will be receiving and cherishing their first book or only gift of the holidays.

— Kyle Zimmer, President and CEO of First Book

The Power of Your Contribution

Your support directly provides access to high-quality, affordable books and critical resources for Title I educators and the kids they serve across the US. Together, we are breaking down barriers and ensuring that every child has the tools they need to thrive.

registered members
225 Million
books and resources distributed to date
5 Million
children reached annually
volunteer reading to kids

About First Book

Education transforms lives.

First Book is building a world where every child has access to a quality education. We work to remove barriers to education and level the playing field for kids in need. At the heart of our work are the 575,000 members of the First Book Network, the largest online community of educators and professionals dedicated to children in need across North America. This Network is the key to creating systemic change. Through our research arm, First Book Research & Insights, we conduct studies that aggregate their voices to identify barriers to equitable education and inform strategic solutions. To address their needs, we provide free and low-cost books, resources and access to leading experts through the First Book Marketplace, which uses aggregated buying power to support this underserved community. Founded in Washington D.C. in 1992 as a nonprofit social enterprise, First Book is dedicated to eliminating barriers to learning and inspiring young minds.

Join Us in Transforming Lives through Education

Your continued support is the driving force behind our success. With every donation, you become a vital part of a community dedicated to transforming lives through education. Together, we can reach even more children and educators, fostering a love for learning that lasts a lifetime.