First Book Research & Insights
Why Kids Need Books & Resources
Books and resources impact everything from psychological well-being to academic performance, but kids in need don’t have that advantage.
- Books and resources are critical. Access to adequate resources is one of the greatest contributors to educational inequality in the United States.
- Just the presence of books in the home improves educational outcomes.
- Books and resources have been shown to have a positive relationship with interest in reading, academic and writing performance, and language development.
- Despite all this, books and resources are scarce for kids in need–meaning they are at a disadvantage from the start. Research has identified vast ‘book deserts’ concentrated in low-income communities across the U.S.—with one community having only a single book to be shared among as many as 830 children.
The scale of the issue is significant. So is the impact.
- Poverty is reshaping education. 51% of students across the nation’s public schools are low income; coming to school without even their basic needs met and under extreme stress.
- Public schools do not have the funding necessary to address the need. 23 states spend less on public education than they did a decade ago.
- The long-term economic devastation is deep and broad. The effect of an inequitable educational system is the equivalent of a national recession.
First Book transforms the lives of children in need by making brand-new, high-quality books and resources affordable and available to the educators and kids who need them most.
books and resources distributed to date.
children reached annually.
registered members, with 1,000 new educators joining weekly.
First Book Makes a Difference
First Book delivers resources where they are needed most.
First Book provides books to spark innovation
The Offering More Great (OMG) Books program distributed 1.5 million brand new books and eBooks to children living in low-income communities.
First Book increases children's interest in reading
In a poll of the First Book Network, 87 percent of members reported children's interest in reading increased after receiving books from First Book.
First Book improves teacher performance and impact
In a poll of the First Book Network, 79 percent of members said First Book helps them be the best educator they can be.
First Book helps close the achievement gap
In a poll of the First Book Network, 88 percent of members reported resources from First Book helped close the achievement gap for the kids they serve.
Children who discover the joy of reading not only do better in school, but also have a life full of adventure ahead. We are grateful to First Book for helping us foster the love of reading in so many children in need.
— Marty, H.O.P.E (Help Our People Eat) | Forsyth County, North Carolina