The Need

Millions of children from low-income areas don’t have the tools they need to learn. With your help, we can change this.

Kids Need Books and Resources

Books and resources impact everything from psychological wellbeing to academic performance, but kids in need don’t have that advantage. Books are critical and access to those resources is one of the greatest contributors to educational equity in the United States. Research shows that just the presence of books in the home improves educational outcomes.

Despite all this, books and resources are scarce for kids in need – meaning they are at a disadvantage from the start. It has been identified there are 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 & 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. Moreover, the schools do not have the funding necessary to address those in need. The long-term economic devastation is deep and broad with the effect of an inequitable educational system being the equivalent of a national recession.

The Impact of Our Work

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.

registered members.
225 million
books and resources distributed to date.
5 million
children reached annually.
Addressing the Whole Child

Through our sophisticated distribution system, we efficiently deliver help where it is needed. We’ve created system-changing models to address the whole child. Donations support a child’s education, basic needs, and wellness – all of which are essential to educational equity.

Our model of change includes a vast network of educators working on the frontlines with children in need at schools and programs across the U.S. Our Marketplace provides 24-hour, year-round access to an award-winning repository of affordable and new books, educational resources, and basic necessities curated for kids in need ages 0-18.

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