SOURCE: First Book

First Book

October 22, 2009 10:29 ET

First Book Announces Second Annual Book Bash Celebration

Fundraiser to Provide Brand New Books for Children in Pennsylvania and Beyond

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwire - October 22, 2009) - Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter today visits KIPP West Philadelphia Preparatory Charter School and announces that the second annual fundraiser to help bring the magic and power of a child's first book to thousands of children in need nationwide will be held on December 11, 2009 in New York City to benefit First Book, a national nonprofit organization providing new books to children in need.

Mayor Nutter co-chairs the event with Ambassador David Girard-diCarlo, Sen. Robert P. Casey and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. Other elected officials, literacy advocates and notables will co-host the event to help First Book provide books for children in need at programs including Title I schools, Head Start centers, libraries, soup kitchens and more.

First Book President and CEO, Kyle Zimmer, said, "We are tremendously honored to have Mayor Nutter join us to highlight the importance of books in children's lives. This truly spectacular event brings together so many who support reading and literacy as a way to improve our children's lives and their futures and helps First Book provide long-lasting resources to children who need them most."

The Book Bash was created by a committed group of individuals deeply concerned about literacy and the future of Pennsylvania's children. Launched in 2008, the inaugural event was generously supported by Oracle and other local businesses and leaders and enabled First Book to bring more than 28,000 books to children throughout the state, including KIPP Philadelphia Charter School and KIPP West Philadelphia Preparatory Charter School. Compelled by these results and by the alarming national statistics on literacy, the foundation and host committee pledged to broaden the event to achieve national impact. In light of the event's history, donors may opt to earmark their contributions for First Book's program in Pennsylvania.

Research shows that the single strongest indicator of a child's future reading ability is the number of age-appropriate books in the home. Yet access to books is almost non-existent for children living in poverty. A recent study found that in middle-income families there is an average of 13 books for every child, compared to just one book for every 300 children in low-income neighborhoods. First Book addresses this crisis at its root by providing new books directly to children in need through community-based programs already serving these families.

The Second Annual Book Bash will be held on Friday, Dec. 11, from 9 p.m. until midnight at The Waldorf=Astoria, New York City. Tickets are $250 each. The event will include entertainment, special guests and a silent auction. To purchase tickets contact Nikki Drevich at 202-639-0156 or ndrevich@firstbook.org. Find event details announced and updated daily at www.bookbash.org.

About First Book

First Book provides new books to children in need addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy -- access to books. An innovative leader in social enterprise, First Book has distributed more than 65 million free and low-cost books in thousands of communities. First Book now has offices in the U.S. and Canada. For more information please visit www.firstbook.org.

About KIPP West Philadelphia Preparatory Charter School

KIPP, or the Knowledge is Power Program, currently serves nearly 20,000 students nationwide. These students attend one of the 82 KIPP schools that operate in 19 states and the District of Columbia. KIPP Philadelphia Schools (KPS) is a network of open-enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools, and part of the national KIPP Network of schools. KPS currently serves grades 5-8 at KIPP Philadelphia Charter School and serves grade 5 at KIPP West Philadelphia Preparatory Charter School.

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