Leon Logothetis And First Book Cure Back-to-school Budget Blues With New Books

Sep 19, 2012, 10:35 ET from First Book

Author, TV Host and Philanthropist Teams Up With Nonprofit to Distribute 11,000 New Books to Low-Income Kids in Los Angeles Schools

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Leon Logothetis, host of National Geographic's Amazing Adventures of a Nobody, has reached his goal to share the magic of books with thousands of students from low-income schools in Los Angeles County. Recognizing the importance of expanding the horizons of young people through reading, especially in a time of cutbacks to education funding, Logothetis entered the famed Mongol Rally this past summer, an arduous 10,000 mile trek which began in London and finished in Mongolia, in order to support students in need. 

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

Through First Book, Logothetis committed one book per mile, and, mile by mile over unpredictable terrain, he tallied up books to donate to underprivileged youth.  10,000 brand-new books - one for each mile of the race - will go to Los Angeles County schools.

Just in time for back-to-school, ten schools will each receive 1,000 badly-needed books. The schools selected include Harry Bridges Span School, Sutter Middle School, Noble Avenue Elementary School, Desert Rose Elementary School, Stanley Mosk Elementary, Hollenbeck Middle School, Plainview Academic Charter Academy, Kipp Raices Academy, Loren Miller Elementary, and Kelso Elementary School.

Each school is a member of First Book's national network of low-income schools and community programs.

"As I drove through impoverished stricken areas across Eastern Europe, my vision to share my love of books with challenged kids in the city I live in became stronger and stronger," said Logothetis. "I hope that one day in the future these students will have the opportunity to discover the world and travel to places beyond their wildest dreams while helping others in return."

In addition, Logothetis this week announced an additional challenge to the community: nominate another local school serving kids from low-income families to receive 1,000 new books for their students.

Anyone can participate! To nominate a school, post its name on Leon's Facebook page or send him a tweet, and let him know why the school should receive the books. The challenge runs until Friday, Sept. 21. 

Nominated schools must be members of First Book's national network, or eligible to become members, which means that at least 70% of their students must be from low-income families. First Book will work with eligible schools to get them signed up.

To celebrate the conclusion of this partnership, Logothetis and First Book's local volunteer chapter, First Book-South Bay, hosted a book distribution on Sept. 18, at Kelso Elementary School in Inglewood, Calif.

At the event, Logothetis presented 750 students with brand-new books. He also made a presentation, autographed books, recounted tales of his most recent adventure, and provided students with the opportunity to take pictures with his world famous Kindness Cab, the London taxi he personally drove cross country offering free transport to Americans in need as a gesture of goodwill.

About First Book

First Book has distributed more than 90 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 Leon Logothetis

Leon Logothetis (www.leonlogothetis.com) is a world traveler, an author, and a fun loving television host. Prior to embarking on world adventures, Logothetis worked in a brokerage firm in London where he was, as he says, "uninspired and living with no sense of direction." Tired of his life, he left it all behind—job, money, home, and even his cell phone—and hit the road with nothing but the clothes on his back and five dollars in his pocket. His journey took him from Times Square in New York City to the Hollywood sign in California. Throughout it all he relied on the kindness of strangers and the serendipity of the open road, all of which inspired a dramatic and life changing transformation in his life.

Since then, Logothetis has starred in a number of TV series, including three seasons of Amazing Adventures of a Nobody, which aired on the National Geographic Channel. He has also been featured on the popular MTV series MADE and on Discovery Europe's travel show.


Rochee Jeffrey of First Book,
202-639-0127 or rjeffrey@firstbook.org;

Chad Bennett for Leon Logothetis,
323-682-8411 or chad.bennett@populusbrands.com

SOURCE First Book