450,000 New Books for Kids in Need In Los Angeles and Across the Country

Brand-New, High-Quality Books Provided by First Book and The Molina Foundation

May 28, 2013, 13:55 ET from First Book

LOS ANGELES, May 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Almost half-a-million brand-new books are making their way into the hands of kids from low-income families this week, thanks to First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise, and The Molina Foundation.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101214/DC17316LOGO-b)

"Teachers and community leaders are working hard to transform the lives of children in need, and we're here to ensure that they have the books and resources they need to do it," said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book.

Staff and volunteers from First Book, The Molina Foundation, Disney VoluntEARS and other community partners distributed the books last week from a warehouse in the Los Angeles area. 150,000 books went to schools and programs serving children from low-income families in southern California, while the rest are being shipped to similar schools and programs across the country.

"Books are important for children throughout the year but perhaps especially during the summer," said Dr. Martha Bernadett, president of The Molina Foundation. "Children who read continue to keep their minds active all summer long and are better prepared for the next school year. We could not do this without great partners like First Book and Disney."

The new books – more than 450,000 of them – were donated by Disney Publishing Worldwide, which provides millions of new books to kids in need every year through First Book.

"Kids need books to become strong readers," said Terry Downes, vice president of publishing operations at Disney Publishing Worldwide. "We support First Book in a number of ways including the donation of millions of new books each year.  We believe strongly in First Book's mission of helping all children regardless of their economic situations – have access to the resources they need to succeed."

EDITOR'S NOTE: A photo supported by the following caption is available for editorial use at http://blog.firstbook.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/BARK-reader.jpg.

CAPTION: Jack, along with Bruce the dog, checks out his brand-new books from First Book and The Molina Foundation. Bruce is from Beach Animal Reading to Kids (BARK), a local nonprofit in Los Angeles that helps reluctant readers improve their skills by reading aloud to certified therapy dogs. BARK is just one of the thousands of local programs receiving new books from First Book. (Photo credit: First Book)

About First Book
First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed more than 100 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada.  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.

About The Molina Foundation
The Molina Foundation is a nonprofit public benefit organization dedicated to improving lives through literacy and education. Since its inception in 2004, The Molina Foundation has worked with more than 1,000 community organizations nationally to improve health through literacy.

Brian Minter

SOURCE First Book