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Nonprofits in U.S. and Jamaica Join Forces to Bring 10,000+ New Books to Jamaican Kids in Need

Read Across Jamaica Foundation and First Book Announce Partnership at Jamaican Embassy

WASHINGTON, Jan. 17 – Last week, First Book and the Read Across Jamaica Foundation announced a new partnership that will bring 10,000 brand-new books to Jamaican children and permanently connect educators and local program leaders in Jamaica with access to new books and educational materials for their students.

read-across-jamaica-and-firFirst Book, based in the United States, is a nonprofit social enterprise that provides new books to children from low-income families, and Read Across Jamaica Foundation, is an international nonprofit that works to provide resources for schools and public libraries in Caribbean communities. Leaders from each group met last week with Jamaican Ambassador Stephen Vasciannie in Washington to discuss plans for addressing literacy and education initiatives in the country.

"Read Across Jamaica Foundation is proud to be in the forefront of developing partnerships for transformation that address literacy in Jamaica," said Ja’nice Wisdom, president and founder of the Read Across Jamaica movement. "We place a high value on kids reading for fun and having stories that reflect their experience. First Book will help us improve access to titles our kids want to read and increase the number of young people we are able to serve."

"Additionally, we applaud Ambassador Vasciannie's leadership and guidance on bridging resources and making valuable connections in the U.S. and in Jamaica," said Wisdom.

Working together with First Book, Read Across Jamaica Foundation aims to distribute 10,000 new books to children in need across Jamaica in 2014.

In addition to its signature campaign, Read Across Jamaica Day, Read Across Jamaica Foundation assists schools, reading centers and after school programs with local celebrations of reading by encouraging Literacy Ambassadors to participate in annual mission trips that give back to communities across Jamaica.

First Book, through its new global marketplace – a website where eligible educators around the world can get brand-new books and materials at deeply discounted rates – will work with Read Across Jamaica Foundation to provide access to high-quality books for Jamaican educators and administrators.

"We are thrilled to collaborate with the Read Across Jamaica Foundation to reach more classrooms and community programs serving kids in need," said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book."The organization has championed literacy in Jamaica for nearly a decade and we’re grateful for the chance to contribute to their success."

About First Book
First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed more than 100 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada.  By making new, high-quality books available on an ongoing basis, First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education. For more information, please visit us online or follow our latest news on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Read Across Jamaica Foundation
>Read Across Jamaica is a global initiative of the Read Across Jamaica Foundation. RALJP focuses on improving access to needed literary resources for poor or disadvantaged schools and public libraries in Caribbean communities. Part of the Read Across Jamaica Literacy Project’s efforts include assisting with hurricane relief efforts that bring children back to a stable classroom environment equipped with adequate resources.