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Michigan Educators, National AFT Union Join with First Book To Give Nearly Half a Million Books to Kids Here and Around the Nation

Local Teachers and School Staff Help Distribute Books from Detroit Warehouse

DETROIT, July 16 — American Federation of Teachers members from Detroit and other Michigan communities picked up tens of thousands of books at a local warehouse today that will be given to their students at no cost.
 
The free books are being provided as a result of a partnership involving the national AFT, AFT Michigan and First Book, a national nonprofit that has distributed more than 90 million books to children across the country over the last 20 years. In addition to the books for kids in Michigan, First Book and AFT volunteers shipped more than 400,000 books around the country from the book bank operated here this week as one of the activities leading up to the AFT’s national convention at Cobo Center, July 27-30.
 
"For AFT Michigan members, this is just the beginning of what we hope will be a permanent relationship with First Book," said AFT Michigan President David Hecker, who is an AFT vice president. "As we move ahead toward a new school year and beyond, we believe the partnership launched this week will enhance learning for our students for years to come."

 This week’s book bank was organized by a partnership involving First Book and AFT Michigan. Volunteers from Detroit-area AFT locals helped fill orders and load book cartons for those who came to the warehouse in Romulus to pick up books.
 
“We’re taking a stand with our friends at the AFT to make sure kids in Detroit and many other communities around the nation get the help they need—from all of us—to succeed," said Kyle Zimmer, First Book’s president. She and other First Book officials will be participating in events at the AFT national convention next week.
 
More than 30,000 of the books distributed this week will go to kids in the Detroit area and other Michigan communities. A group of teachers and paraprofessionals from Toledo also picked up books for their students at the book bank event.