The Need

Millions of children from low-income areas don’t have the tools needed to learn, placing them at a disadvantage that perpetuates poverty. With your help, we can change this.
Understanding the Need
In low-income households, schools, and communities, books and educational resources are scarce. Kids start school behind their more affluent peers and never catch up. Their educational and economic prospects suffer, perpetuating the cycle of poverty.

A record number of kids are growing up in need.

  • More than half of U.S. public school students live in low-income households.

Public education and programs are deeply underfunded.

  • 23 states are spending less on education than before the 2008 recession.

Without adequate resources, children cannot learn.

  • 79% of fourth graders from low-income households do not read proficiently.

The impact of this cycle is staggering.

  • Poor educational outcomes are tied to future poverty, unemployment, illness, and crime.

Sources: National Center for Education Statistics, Center on Budget & Policy Priorities, Annie E. Casey Kids Count, World Literacy Foundation.

The Impact

First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education. Educational equity can only be achieved when educators and kids have the resources they need to succeed. From books to backpacks, technology to toothpaste, First Book delivers critical tools for learning and life.

170 million
books and resources distributed to date.
3 million
children reached annually.
350,000
registered members, with 1,000 new educators joining weekly.
1 out of every 4
classrooms and programs serving kids in need reached.
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