WASHINGTON, April 17, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- When Layla Erzrumly signed up with First Book to get access to free and low-cost books and resources for her 4th grade classroom a few weeks ago, she became the 100,000th educator to join the nonprofit's network of those serving children in need.
Erzumly, a member of the American Federation of Teachers, teaches 10- to 12-year-olds at Smyser Elementary, a Title I school in Chicago. Her students include a number of children who speak Spanish at home and she recently took advantage of First Book's expanded focus on providing books focused on Latino history and culture, chipping in some of her own money to ensure she would have enough books for the children she serves.
First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise that provides access to brand-new, high-quality books and classroom materials for children in need, works with schools and programs across the country. Anyone serving children in need, from birth to age 18, is eligible to sign up with First Book.
Every day, dozens of educators and program leaders connect with First Book. Examples of the diverse range of programs that signed up on the same day as Erzumly:
A public library serving 43,000 children in a low-income neighborhood in Sacramento.
A faith-based homeless shelter that serves 36 children of all ages, in Joliet, Illinois.
A Kiwanis club in Lincoln, Nebraska that supports 87 children in need under the age of six in local early childhood programs.
The special education director for a rural school district in Marion, Wisconsin, who signed up to get books for the 450 kids in their afterschool program.
"More than 8,000 educators and community leaders sign up every month to get new books for their kids," said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book. "Just looking at even this small sampling of programs shows the breadth of educators we're reaching, and reminds us of the enormous need that's still out there."
"We work directly with the teachers, librarians, community leaders, tutors and volunteers who are on the front lines every day, getting them the resources they need to help their kids succeed, and we're so proud and humbled to be able to support their life-changing work," Zimmer said. "Being connected to 100,000 of these heroes helps us reach millions of children."
"As proud as we are of this success, there's so much more to be done," Zimmer said. "We estimate that there are as many as 1.3 million teachers and program leaders in the United States and Canada who are eligible to join First Book, and we want to reach every one of them."
Anyone who works with kids in need can sign up with First Book to access an ongoing supply of new, high-quality books and educational resources, for free and at low cost.
About First Book
First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed more than 115 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.