Learning to read is critical to a child’s success – both in school and in life. Literacy is one of the best predictors of a child’s future success. But a child without access to books won’t have the chance to become an engaged and capable reader. This is the reality for children who are growing up in poverty; books are scarce. In some of the lowest-income neighborhoods in the country there is only one book available for every 300 children.
At First Book, our innovative approaches tackle the single biggest barrier to the development of literacy – access to books. To date, First Book has provided more than 135 million books to children in need, increasing access to needed materials for educators and administrators, and helping to elevate educational opportunities for our nation’s most disadvantaged youth.
Through two innovative distribution engines – the First Book National Book Bank and the First Book Marketplace – educators are empowered to influence and select the educational materials their students need most.
The National Book Bank is the first centralized distribution system for large-scale donations of children’s books from publishers to schools and programs serving kids in need. Today, the First Book National Book Bank distributes over 8 million books annually. The Marketplace is an online site offering high-quality children’s books and educational materials at deeply discounted prices exclusively to programs registered with First Book.
First Book is extremely efficient and frugal. 97% of our revenue goes directly to providing new books to kids in need. We are also expanding resources by providing high-quality books on college preparation, healthy eating and exercise, anti-bulling, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), diversity and many other topics as well as bilingual titles and resources.
Sharing my love for First Book,
Your 2015 Mrs. Minnesota International