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Kids With Disabilities Receive Books Thanks to First Book and Barclays

YAI's Gramercy School Celebrates Book Donation with Reading Party

NEW YORK, Feb. 7, 2011 -- First Book and Barclays are continuing to bring brand-new books focused on financial literacy and college readiness to children from low-income families.

On Thursday, staff and volunteers from First Book, a national nonprofit, and Barclays, a global financial services provider, met with children at the YAI Network's Gramercy School in New York City. The preschool serves children from ages 3 to 5 who have developmental disabilities and/or learning delays.

Barclays employees visited classrooms and read to students, then helped the children with lessons related to the stories. Every child at the event received a backpack with three brand-new books to keep.

"Young children need access to a wealth of literature and as many opportunities as possible to hear language and listen to stories read aloud," said Dr. Bernadette Flynn, senior director of the YAI Network's preschools and early intervention services. "Research shows that when children are given this opportunity it has a positive influence on the development of language and literacy skills. First Book's and Barclays' generous donation of books will enable all our schools to have a wide variety of books available for the children."

"Barclays is helping First Book to provide students from low-income families with the educational opportunities that all children deserve," said Kyle Zimmer, First Book's president and CEO. "By hosting these reading parties and sponsoring the upcoming financial literacy and college readiness section of the First Book Marketplace, Barclays is laying a foundation of success for children of all ages."

Next month First Book will launch a special section dedicated to financial literacy and college readiness on the First Book Marketplace, the nonprofit organization's award-winning online site that caters exclusively to programs serving children from low-income families. This new online resource is made possible by support from Barclays.

The launch of the financial literacy and college readiness section of the First Book Marketplace is the next step in an already robust partnership. In previous years, Barclays and First Book have created unique special editions of Bunny Money, by Rosemary Wells, and The Berenstain Bears' Dollars and Sense, by Stan and Jan Berenstain, both of which are available on the First Book Marketplace. These books are also donated by Barclays employees to children at celebratory reading parties in the New York City area.

Through its partnership with First Book, Barclays has distributed more than 50,000 new books to children in need all across the country.

"By bringing these Barclays-sponsored books to children, both at reading parties and through the First Book Marketplace, we hope that more students will have the opportunity to become financially literate at an early age," said Rhoda Peritz, a managing director at Barclays Capital and board member of YAI's New York Early League for Learning.

Barclays has a proud tradition of supporting and investing in the communities where it does business. The bank adopts a three-fold philosophy propelled by its employees: to bank on brighter futures, to look after local communities and to support charity at work.

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 visit us online or follow our latest news on Facebook and Twitter.

About YAI Network's Gramercy School

The YAI Network's Gramercy School helps children with developmental and learning delays and disabilities to realize their full potential in nurturing, safe and supportive learning environments. The YAI Network's preschools provide special education and therapies to infants and children who need the extra help that early intervention provides in motor, intellectual, emotional and social development. Individualized instructional programs and careful attention to each child's unique needs have helped many students overcome early challenges.

For services, please call 1-866-2-YAI-LINK or visit yai.org.

About Barclays

Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in retail banking, credit cards, corporate banking, investment banking, wealth management and investment management services, with an extensive international presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs approximately 144,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for over 48 million customers and clients worldwide. For further information about Barclays, please visit their website.