SOURCE: First Book

First Book

September 11, 2009 10:45 ET

National Children's Literacy Nonprofits Reading Is Fundamental, Reach Out and Read and Pioneers Join First Book to Deliver 98,000 Books to Honor First Official 9/11 Day of Service

First Book Provides 1.3 Million More Books Nationwide From Alaska and Hawaii to Maine and Florida

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - September 11, 2009) - In recognition of the nation's first official September 11 Day of Service and Remembrance, Reading Is Fundamental, Reach Out and Read and Pioneers, a Volunteer Network, each matched funding from First Book to double the number of books reaching community programs serving at-risk children, delivering 98,000 books in local literacy programs nationwide. In addition, honoring the United We Serve campaign, First Book has provided more than 1.3 million books to children who need them most across the nation since June 22.

"First Book was delighted to partner in this first-of-its-kind collaboration among these well-known children's literacy giants to deliver age-appropriate books to local heroes and volunteers serving our most vulnerable children to raise the quality of education these children receive," said Kyle Zimmer, president of First Book. "When children lack the most basic resources to learn to read we risk losing them and their talents in our society. By delivering brand new books through the work of tremendously committed literacy partners and programs, we target the root of the literacy crisis that has plagued our nation for generations."

Research confirms that children's lack of access to books is a central obstacle to literacy development yet most children from low-income families grow up without this critical resource. One study found that in middle-income neighborhoods there is an average of 13 age-appropriate books per child, while in low-income neighborhoods there is one book for every 300 children.

This exciting collaboration is one of the thousands of service projects across the nation in honor of September 11. This past April, President Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act and officially recognized September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance for the first time. This September 11, Americans will join together in service projects across all fifty states and re-commit to serving their communities.

United We Serve is President Obama's national call to service challenging all Americans to engage in sustained, collaborative, and focused service in their communities. United We Serve is being led by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that improves lives and strengthens communities though volunteering and service. For more information, visit www.Serve.gov.

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 60 million free and low cost books in thousands of communities. First Book now has offices in the U.S. and Canada. For more information about the nonprofit First Book please visit www.firstbook.org.

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