Campaign to raise $1 million to give 1 million books to children in need

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WASHINGTON (PRNewswire) – First Book, the nonprofit social enterprise focused on equal access to quality education, launched Give a Million, a Giving Tuesday campaign designed to raise $1 million between now and December 6 to get 1 million new, high-quality books to children in need in time for the holidays.

Approximately $125,000 has been raised through donations from award-winning authors and their foundations, including Alane Adams and the Rise Up Foundation, the Mo and Cher Willems Foundation, and Marissa Meyer and Jesse Taylor.

“Bringing new books to kids in need has an immeasurable impact, and for many kids, it will be the first book they have ever owned, or the only gift they will receive during the holidays,” said Kyle Zimmer, president, CEO and co-founder of First Book. “The sense of self-esteem that comes with that is worth far more than $1 million, and the fact that it also furthers their academic possibilities makes the gift of a book invaluable. This is an easy ask – grant a wish and give a child a future of possibility.”

Book ownership and a print-rich environment are leading indicators of a child’s educational success, but for the 32 million children growing up in low-income families in the U.S., books are scarce.

A recent study found that in one low-income neighborhood, there was only one book for more than 800 children, whereas in moderate income neighborhoods, there are 13 books for every child, according to Social Science Research by Sikora, et al and Book Deserts by Susan B. Neuman and Naomi Moland.

Moreover, in a poll of the First Book network of educators, 82 percent of respondents reported that without First Book, their students would have very few or no new books.

After receiving book donations and additional support from the group’s publishing partners, the campaign will have the limited opportunity to gift a brand-new book directly to a child in need for just $1: $100 will support a classroom, $500 will support a grade level, $1,000 will support a school, and $5,000 will support an entire community.

Donations can be made through


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