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First Book Celebrates 80 Million Books Distributed to Children in Need

80 Millionth Book Given to Local Nursery School at Gala Event in NYC Sponsored by Target

NEW YORK, Dec. 13, 2010 - First Book, the leading nonprofit dedicated to providing books and educational materials for children in low-income communities, announced the distribution of its 80 millionth book this weekend at the annual Book Bash event in New York City.

“We could not have arrived at the milestone of 80 million books without the generosity and commitment of our corporate and publishing partners,” said Kyle Zimmer, president and co-founder of First Book. “And, even more importantly, the heroic educators and volunteers all over the country who work tirelessly every day on behalf of the children that they serve. Their dedication is overwhelming, and we're grateful for the chance to contribute to their success.”

The 80 millionth book was part of an assortment presented to Round the Clock Nursery, a family daycare with several locations in New York City. Because First Book wanted to recognize its many generous publishing partners, the assortment included award-winning children's titles from all seven of the publishers in attendance at the Book Bash.

“It’s a great marriage,” said Gail Davis, executive director of Round the Clock Nursery, about her partnership with First Book. “They have helped us to do the things that we want to do in terms of expanding. These children come from really poor homes; they don’t have many books at home.”

Round the Clock serves 340 children at their four centers in New York. The books they have received through First Book over the years have gone to create a lending library, as well as an English-language tutoring program for both children and their parents. The books they received at the event will be used as Christmas presents.

“As far as I’m concerned, First Book has been one of the most important and fundamental relationships that we have,” Davis said.

Since 1992, First Book has provided brand-new books, free of charge or deeply discounted, to programs that serve children in need – classrooms, after-school programs, shelters, church groups and community centers. In 2010, First Book distributed 7.5 million books, averaging more books each day than in its entire first year.

The books were presented by Zimmer at the third annual Book Bash, First Book's fund-raising gala in New York City, sponsored by Target.

About First Book

First Book provides new books to children in need, addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy – access to books. An innovative leader in social enterprise, First Book has distributed more than 80 million free and low-cost books in thousands of communities. First Book has offices in the U.S. and Canada. For more information, please follow our latest news on Facebook and Twitter.