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Press Release

First Book Distributes 400,000 New Books for Kids in Need in Richmond, Va. and Across the Country

Brand-New, High-Quality Books Provided by Disney Publishing

RICHMOND, Va. August 22, 2014 -- Almost half-a-million brand-new books are making their way into the hands of kids from low-income families this week thanks to the nonprofit social enterprise First Book and Disney Publishing.

“Over 32 million children in the United States live in poverty, and in their communities there is often a lack of books and educational resources,” said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book. “First Book provides these critical resources to the classrooms and communities serving kids in need, ensuring they have a chance to read, learn and succeed.”

Staff from First Book joined over 50 volunteers from Virginia Commonwealth University, KPMG LLP., SunTrust Bank, Pi Beta Phi Fraternity and community members this week to distribute the books from a Richmond area warehouse. Nearly 200,000 books will be provided to area schools and programs serving children in need while the rest are being shipped to similar schools and programs across the country.

Taffy Jones-Hayes, the Title I parent-community liason at Harrowgate Elementary School in Chester, VA, has received books from First Book for six years, three times from this type of distribution. She is again receiving books for her school this week. Jones-Hayes, along with the principal and assistant principal from Harrowgate, volunteered at the book distribution as a way to say thank you for the many books that have benefitted her students.  

“I am volunteering this year because I am so appreciative of what First Book does for us. The success of our school and of our students is directly related to the books we receive from First Book,” said Jones-Hayes. “Kids need books at home to read and reread; a book of your own makes all the difference.”

The new books - more than 400,000 - were donated by Disney Publishing Worldwide, which provides millions of new books to kids in need every year through First Book.

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.