Monday, October 20, 2008

First Book, Random House and The U.S. Deparment of Education give books to children

These days many people are feeling pretty low about the economy, they are worried about the future, and they are not hearing many feel-good stories. Here is a story about something positive that is being done. The federal government, a non-profit group, and a business, are working together so that children in need can have some much needed books in their lives. Here is the press release about this program:

"U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Raymond Simon and First Book Senior Vice President Lynda Lancaster have announced the availability of free books through the 2008 Back to School Book Donation. The initiative will make available more than 300,000 new Random House books, which will be distributed nationally to schools, libraries and literacy organizations serving low-income youth.
"Reading is the foundation of all academic success," said Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. "I'm proud that by giving children their own books, this partnership is helping to foster the love of learning in schools and communities across our country."
"There is no better way to transform children into readers than to grant them access to books and the power of book ownership," said First Book President Kyle Zimmer. "We are grateful for the reading heroes at the Department of Education and to our steadfast partner, Random House Children's Books, who have helped bring literally hundreds of thousands of books to children who need them most. That's thousands of children turning millions of pages, and learning the joy of reading one page at a time."
First Book is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. They provide an ongoing supply of new books to children participating in local mentoring, tutoring, and family literacy programs. Since its creation in 1992, First Book has distributed more than 60 million books to children in over 3,000 communities around the country.
"Reading is a gift that sparks the imagination and opens new doors for children of all ages," said Chip Gibson, president of Random House Children's Books. "Random House is proud to be part of the 2008 Back to School Book donation to help make a lifetime of difference to children in need."
Random House Children's Books is the world's largest English-language children's trade book publisher, creating books for toddlers through young adult readers, in all formats, from board books to activity books to picture books and novels. The company's website, offers an array of materials and activities free of charge for children, teens, parents and educators.
This announcement marks the latest phase in the Book Donation Campaign. The Campaign is a multi-year effort of the U.S. Department of Education, First Book and a host of major U.S. book publishing companies to promote literacy and supply books to children in need. Since June 2006, the Department, First Book and major book publishers have collaborated to distribute over 2.9 million children's books to schools, libraries and literacy organizations serving low-income youth across the country.
For more information on the U.S. Department of Education and First Book's book donation campaign, visit:
For more information on First Book, visit:"

I know that things are not rosy out there in the big world, but at least a few people are working together to bring some brightness into the lives of others. Surely we should take heart from this.


Anonymous said...

This is very thoughtful of the government, especially considering, as you pointed out, that there are so many other things to worry about(other than books) Books can be very healing in difficult times. Thanks for the info, I will post this on my blog.

Marya Jansen-Gruber said...

Many of us are angry with the powers that be these days and I was glad to read something positive for a change. I think feel-good stories like this one help us to see that the sky is not yet falling on our heads. I agree with you whole heartedly that books can indeed be a boon during hard times.

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