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First Book Board of Directors Adds Target Apparel Executive Nina Barjesteh

WPhoto of Nina Barjesteh - TargetASHINGTON, October 23, 2014 – Washington, D.C.-based First Book has added Nina Barjesteh, vice president of ready-to-wear merchandising, Target, to its board of directors.

A nonprofit social enterprise, First Book tackles the lack of books and educational resources for children in need ages 0 – 18 in the U.S. and Canada.  Access to books is critical for children to learn to read; yet for children growing up in low-income families, books are scarce.  In the U.S. alone, this impacts 32.7 million children – almost half of U.S. kids – and stymies educational achievement for children, with broader economic, health and overall prosperity implications for children and society in the future.  

“As part of our commitment to education, Target has worked closely with First Book for years and we’ve seen first-hand how their innovative models – from the First Book Marketplace to their groundbreaking Stories for All Project -- are supporting teachers and kids in need across the U.S. and Canada,” said Barjesteh. “As the mother of three children and as a businesswoman, it’s important to me that all children and teachers have the educational resources they need to succeed. I am honored to help further First Book’s mission as a board member.”  

“Target has consistently set the bar for its commitment to high quality education, providing millions of dollars in education grants, supporting local schools, investing in school library makeovers, and more,” said First Book Board Chairman Peter Gold. “We are delighted that Nina will represent Target on our board.”

Barjesteh has been with Target for more than 18 years in various positions, including serving as vice president merchandise manager of kid’s apparel.  She received a bachelor’s degree in international business from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.  An advocate for educational cultural exchange opportunities, she has studied in Europe and lived in both Europe and Asia.  She previously served on the board of Partners of the Americas.  During her tenure, she organized a student exchange program for high schools in Minnesota and Uruguay S.A.  Barjesteh lives in Plymouth, Minn., and has three children, Olivia (8), Lucas (5), and Nicolas (1).  

About First Book

First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed more than 120 million brand new books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the U.S. and Canada.  First Book also has the largest and fastest growing network of programs serving kids in need, currently numbering 140,000, and growing by 6,000 per month.  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.