First Book

Our Impact

Equal Access to Quality Education

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.

Since 1992, we have distributed more than 170 million books and resources in 30 countries. We currently reach an average of 3 million children every year, nearly 4,500 new schools and programs each month, and serve nearly one in four of the estimated 1.3 million classrooms and programs serving children in need.

We make an impact for children in need and the educators who serve them.

According to Educators:

  • First Book provides resources where there were none before. In a poll of the First Book network, 82 percent of respondents report that without First Book their children would have very few or no new books.
  • First Book increases interest in reading. In a poll of the First Book network, 87 percent report children’s increased interest in reading after receiving books from First Book.
  • First Book improves teacher impact. In a poll of the First Book network, 79 percent say First Book helps them be the best educator they can be.
  • First Book helps close the achievement gap. In a poll of the First Book network, 88 percent report resources from First Book helps close the achievement gap for the kids they serve.

97 percent of all revenue is used directly for program impact, providing books and educational resources for children in need.

Who We Serve

First Book, which has operations in both the U.S. and Canada, works with formal and informal educators serving children in need ages 0 to 18 in a wide range of settings where at least 70 percent of the children served are from low-income or military families or Title I eligible schools. First Book resources can be found in schools, classrooms, summer school and park and rec programs, health clinics, homeless shelters, faith-based programs, libraries, museums, summer food sites and more.

First Book’s Impact

Educators in the First Book member network—educators working with kids in need—report that books and resources from First Book:

  • Promote self-esteem and a feeling of being cared for, particularly because the resources are new and not used — a rarity in the lives of low-income children.
  • Raise the performance of the classroom or program, by increasing students’ attention and confidence in their own abilities, allowing kids to see themselves as a community of learners.
  • Promote cross-cultural awareness, encouraging the ability to hold competing views and develop empathy.
  • Raise the literacy of the family when children read the books they receive to parents and siblings, and pass them throughout the extended family.
  • Reduce feelings of isolation experienced by immigrants and English Language Learners and parents.
  • Raise the well-being of the community as they work together to raise funds locally to acquire more resources.

See Our Impact

Explore an overview of our impact to learn more about how First Book makes a difference in the lives of educators and kids.

Read inspiring stories by and about the educators and kids we serve.

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

Development lightbox Sept 2017 B2S