First Book provides new books to children in need addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy – access to books. Studies reveal that the critical factor determining whether a child becomes a reader is access to reading materials--specifically, the presence of books at home. Yet in low-income neighborhoods, there is only one book for every 300 children. Since 1992, First Book has worked to reverse that trend by distributing over 80 million new books to children in need.
To give new books to kids in need.
First Book works through existing community programs to provide a steady stream of new free or low cost books and improve access to reading materials. First Book reaches these programs through an innovative, powerfully designed, three-part network:
Local Advisory Boards – First Book’s central, community-based model that brings together diverse local leaders to mobilize communities and supply existing programs with new books for the children they serve.
First Book National Book Bank – the first-ever online centralized system that enables publishers to donate large quantities of new books to the nonprofit sector for distribution to children from low-income families.
First Book Marketplace – a web-based venture that offers high quality, award-winning books to community programs serving disadvantaged children at 50-90% below retail prices.
First Book has provided more than 80 million new books to children in need in thousands of communities nationwide. While innovative in its approach, First Book is conservative in its economic life; the organization’s financials reveal that over 97% of revenue is devoted to implementing its far-reaching programs.