WASHINGTON, May 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Most public high school libraries have eleven books per student, but the library at Ballou High School has less than a tenth of that. The library at Woodrow Wilson High School no longer has a single fiction title. And the D.C. public high school for incarcerated youth has no library at all. Resources like books are often severely limited for children in low-income neighborhoods.
"Our needs are very great," said Melissa Jackson, Ballou's librarian. "We're trying to build our nonfiction and fiction collections, so whatever we can get from First Book we will gladly accept."
Twenty D.C. schools and programs received grants from First Book, a national nonprofit that provides access to books for schools and programs serving children from low-income communities, from pre-schoolers to high school students.
"We've recorded about 16,000 books over the last twelve years," said Carol Fennelly of Hope House, a program that records videos of incarcerated D.C. fathers reading for their children. "And probably 50% to 75% of those books come have come from First Book."
Each school or program received a grant of 500 free books from the First Book National Book Bank and $1,575 to spend on the First Book Marketplace, an online store serving schools and programs that reach low-income children.
The books were made possible thanks to the support of the Philip L. Graham Fund.
"We will use these books for many purposes," said Abraham Clayman of KIPP DC: LEAP Academy, a charter school that serves three-, four- and five-year-olds in the District. "We send them home with families, we put them in classroom libraries, teachers use them. I want to say thanks to First Book … we're really excited about what we're doing."
About First Book
First Book has distributed more than 80 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 the elevating the quality of education. For more information, please visit us online or follow our latest news on Facebook and Twitter.
SOURCE First Book