First Book

Honors and Awards

First Book’s commitment to innovation, collaboration and impact has been recognized by leading institutions such as the Library of Congress, the National Book Foundation and more. We are proud to be the recipients of the following honors and awards: 

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2017 Mid-Atlantic Award  First Book President and CEO Kyle Zimmer was among the nine recipients of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in the Mid-Atlantic region for First Book's sustainable, market-driven model provides affordable access to brand-new, high-quality books and educational resources to educators who exclusively serve kids in need.

The 2016 Ideagen Power 100 List of Individuals Empowering Women and Girls – First Book president and CEO Kyle Zimmer made the 2016 Ideagen Power 100 List highlighting the 100 individuals and 100 organizations leading the way towards empowering women and girls across the planet.

2016 Jefferson Award – First Book president and CEO Kyle Zimmer received the Jefferson Award Foundation's annual award for outstanding public service benefiting the disadvantaged.

Peggy Charren/Free to Be You and Me Award – First Book president and CEO Kyle Zimmer received the Ms. Foundation for Women's Peggy Charren/Free to Be You and Me award honoring individuals in media whose work contributes to breaking through gender and racial lines.

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Pacesetter Honors – First Book was recognized as a Pacesetter Partner by The Campaign For Grade-Level Reading for its sustained efforts in improving early learning and childhood literacy.

Library of Congress David M. Rubenstein Prize – First Book was awarded the 2015 David M. Rubenstein Prize, one of three Literacy Awards presented by the Library of Congress annually, for outstanding and measurable contributions in increasing literacy levels and exceptional and sustained depth and breadth in its commitment to the advancement of literacy.

The National Book Foundation’s 2014 Literarian Award – The National Book Foundation honored First Book CEO Kyle Zimmer with its 2014 Literarian Award for her outstanding leadership and achievements in overcoming childhood illiteracy and promoting educational equality.

Lifetime Collective Impact Award – First Book president and CEO Kyle Zimmer received the Lifetime Collective Impact Award from Ideagen in 2014.

Security Benefit Corporation Award for Outstanding Service to Public Education – This award from the National Education Association (NEA) Foundation was presented in 2013 to recognize First Book’s pioneering and innovative work and achievements to fight illiteracy.

Credit Suisse 'Investing for Impact' – In their 2012 'Investing for Impact' report, Credit Suisse highlighted First Book's "innovative yet pragmatic approach" to solving the problem of child illiteracy.

Carle Honor – First Book president and CEO Kyle Zimmer was awarded the Carle Honor from The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in 2009 for her work on behalf of children’s literacy.

Philanthropy 400 – First Book has been on the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s annual list of the nation’s largest philanthropic groups since 2008.

Nonprofit Marketer of the Year – First Book president and CEO Kyle Zimmer was honored by the American Marketing Association (AMA) and the American Marketing Association Foundation (AMAF) in 2008 for extraordinary leadership and achievement in the field of nonprofit marketing.

Social Entrepreneur of the Year – First Book president and CEO Kyle Zimmer was named ‘Social Entrepreneur of the Year’ in the United States’ by Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship in 2006.

Social Capitalist Award – First Book received the ‘Social Capitalist Award’ from Fast Company and the Monitor Group for using entrepreneurial genius to solve global issues from 2004 through 2008.

Community Service Award – First Book received the annual ‘Community Service Award’ from SBLI USA Mutual Life Insurance Company, Inc. in 2006.

Nonprofit Innovation Award – First Book was a finalist for’s ‘Nonprofit Innovation Award’ in 2005.

Nonprofit Ventures Business Plan Competition – First Book was awarded the Grand Prize in the Yale School of Management-Goldman Sachs Foundation Partnership on Nonprofit Ventures Business Plan Competition in 2005.

Authors Guild Foundation Award – First Book was recognized for ‘Distinguished Service to the Literary Community’ by the Authors Guild Foundation in 2005.

Gold Halo Award – First Book received the Gold Halo Award for the ‘Best Social Service/Educational Program’ from the Cause Marketing Forum in 2004, and again in 2007.

Gold Star Charity – First Book was named a Gold Star Charity by Forbes Magazine in 2003.

Partner of the Year Award – First Book received the ‘Partner of the Year Award’ from Connect America in recognition of highly successful partnerships with the nonprofit sector in 2003.

Reggie Award Gold Medal – First Book was awarded the Gold Medal for innovative cause-based marketing from the Promotion Marketing Association’s ‘Reggie Awards’ in 2002.

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators – First Book was recognized with SCBWI’s Golden Gratitude Award for outstanding contribution to the field of children’s books in August 2013.   The award recognizes First Book’s longstanding work to tackle the scarcity of books for children in need, to increase diversity in children’s books and to create new opportunities for authors and illustrators.

Our Approach

Price is the #1 barrier to book ownership. Our innovative model knocks down that wall.

Our Innovative Approach

Media Center

Visit our Media Center to see the latest First Book news, honors and awards, and multimedia content.

The First Book Media Center

Our Impact

First Book works with existing community programs and schools to provide an ongoing supply of new books and educational resources to children in need.

First Book's Impact

2017 July Lightbox - 25th anniversary appeal