AFT Pledges to Distribute 1 Million Books

American Federation of Teachers is launching a multiyear literacy campaign called “Reading Opens the World,” designed to support students, educators, and families and foster an ongoing love of reading—because reading is foundational to everything we do. AFT is dedicating $2 million this year to kick off this multi-year effort, and we look forward to other partners joining us, in addition to our inaugural partners, First Book and the AFL-CIO.

“For years, experts have underscored the importance of children reading at home for 20 minutes or more every day, but this is simply not possible for millions of children growing up in book deserts without access to books,” said First Book President, CEO and co-founder Kyle Zimmer.

Together, the AFT and First Book are joining hands to help more children build home libraries and give families the opportunity to share stories and create a joy of reading. These books will quite literally open up a world of possibilities, enabling more children to explore places far beyond their neighborhoods, see themselves in books and expand their dreams for the future.

Our Mission
Building a path out of poverty through educational equity.

Our purpose is as bold as it is urgent

  • To create systemic change
  • To ensure equal access to quality education
  • To empower every educator and all the children in need who they serve.

Our Impact

First Book believes that education is the best way out of poverty for children in need. We provide books and other resources to classrooms and programs serving children in need, from birth to age 18, in order to remove barriers to quality education for all kids.

Over its 29-year history, First Book has distributed more than 200 million books and educational resources, with a retail value of more than $2 billion.

Educators in Our Network
200 Million
Books & Resources Distributed
5 Million
Children Served Annually
This is one of the best organizations I have ever worked with in my many years in education and library services. The vast knowledge, resources, and opportunities that First Book provides are superb.

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