Books have always been a refuge for me. In the most difficult times of my childhood, I could escape by immersing myself in books, which also taught me better ways to behave than I could have learned from my family. Most children who survive abusive childhoods have one adult who takes an interest; I had books. It’s not too much to say they saved my life.
If any kids need books and stories, it’s poor children—the ones who are least likely to have any available. No books at home. Not enough books at school. No nearby libraries.
For the almost 12 million children living below the poverty level in the United States today, growing up with books of their own is a dream rather than a reality. More than 60% of low-income families have no books at all at home for their children. Over 80% of programs serving children in need have no age-appropriate books or other print materials.
First Book gives poor children a book of their very own to love, read, and cherish. A book that may open the doors of learning. A book that can foster creativity. A book that says, “You matter.”
First Book has distributed more than 40 million new books to children from low-income families across the United States.
The results are remarkable: More than half of the children — 55% — reported having an increased interest in reading. Additionally, the number of young people demonstrating a "high interest in reading" nearly tripled (increasing from 23% to 61%) after receiving books from First Book.
Donate now. Free a child’s mind. Give the gift of imagination. Give books.