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Report Details How Books Help Children From Low Resource Communities

Report Details How Books and Resources Help In-Need Children

First Book, a non-profit organization comprised of a network of over 200,000 educators and program leaders has released its 2014 Impact Report detailing its findings from the past fiscal year working with children who come from low-income families. "Founded in 1992, First Book promotes educational equality by providing educators and program leaders serving children in need with access to free and affordable, high-quality, new books and educational resources,” the company said in a statement.

First Book works with publishers to acquire book donations for in-need communities and hosts the First Book Marketplace where individuals can purchase materials for low-cost.

According to the report, low-income children face significant challenges when it comes to focusing on and achieving a good education.

Such challenges include dealing with community or gang violence, which the report says 32 percent of low-income children deal with.

More than half of low-income students, the report says, have incarcerated parents or siblings and 79 percent of students have difficulty having their basic needs (adequate food and clothing) met.

The report found that these challenges have a significant impact on low-income children’s academic success. Only 65 percent of low-income children in the First Book Network are able to read at grade level and only 23 percent are college and/or career ready.

While in the classroom, 42 percent have to manage learning disabilities and special needs while 46 percent have to manage behavioral issues that interrupt learning.

In order to offer solutions to these children in need, The First Book Network has spent the past year providing low-income communities with books.

In 2014, First Book provided 12.8 million books and resources to the kids it serves, the report says.

And “[i]n addition to books, classrooms and programs can now access a variety of resources through first book to help kids thrive, including

  • School supplies
  • Educational games
  • Teacher resources
  • Technology hardware and software
  • Clothing
  • Nonperishable food items

According to the report, First Books is adding 5,000 educators to its network every month. 93 percent of partnering educators said they joined the network to help students develop “a lifelong love of reading.”

Read the full report here.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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