WASHINGTON, Nov. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The nonprofit social enterprise First Book today released its 2014 Impact Report detailing the organization's work over the last fiscal year in providing new books and educational materials to children from low-income families. The report features key insights from First Book's network of more than 200,000 educators and program leaders serving children in need, the largest and fastest growing community of its kind.
The findings presented in the report reveal how economic stressors on low-income families create challenges that affect student performance:
- 83 percent of educators report that their students face the challenge of "low parent or family involvement in the child's education" — surpassing "reading at grade level," reported by 65 percent of respondents;
- 54 percent of the educators report their students are affected by having "incarcerated parent(s) or sibling(s)," while 32 percent of students deal with "community or gang violence;"
- 79 percent of educators report that students' basic needs of adequate food, clothing and other necessities are often unmet;
- The top reason educators seek access to books and educational resources from First Book is to help students develop a "lifelong love of reading," reported by 93 percent of educators surveyed.
"In light of the recent news reports that American children are, for the first time in decades, falling behind academically, these insights from the First Book network speak loudly for the kind of support that children from low-income families need in order to succeed," said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book. "First Book works to address the reality that millions of children here in the U.S. are growing up without books, but we understand that kids need more than just books to thrive. We are working across sectors to ensure that students have everything they need to make it to class and do their best."
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. To date, First Book has distributed more than 135 million books in the U.S. and Canada.
Through the First Book National Book Bank, the organization works with publishers to secure large donations of new children's books, which are then distributed to classrooms and programs across the country. Eligible educators, librarians and program leaders can also obtain low-cost books and educational resources through the First Book Marketplace, an online site with over 6,000 products, including a range of books and digital learning tools. Insights from its network of 200,000 educators and program leaders drive the content, formats and types of educational resources that the organization secures.
Organizations serving children in need can sign up to access First Book's resources at firstbook.org/join. For more information on First Book's work, visit firstbook.org.
About First Book
First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed more than 135 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 and educational resources 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.
Contact: Julia Hornaday
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SOURCE First Book