First Book

First Book Press Releases

Wipro, First Book Bring Backpacks, New Books to Atlanta Area Kids in Need 

Volunteer-led partnership focused on promoting power of reading, addressing “Summer Slide”

Atlanta, USA, May 11, 2017: Five hundred Atlanta area elementary students will have new backpacks with three books each ahead of summer break as the result of a partnership between Wipro Limited (NYSE: WIT, BSE: 507685, NSE: WIPRO), a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company, and First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise that has delivered more than 160 million books and educational resources to programs and schools with children in need.  

On the afternoon of Thursday, May 11, 50 Wipro volunteers will complete a Backpack Build of 500 backpacks and 1,500 books at Wipro’s facility located on Woodcock Boulevard in Atlanta. On the morning of Friday, May 12, the backpacks will be delivered to Brockett Elementary School, located at 1855 Brockett Road in Tucker, as part of a reading celebration. During the event, Wipro volunteers will read to children and an additional 500 books will be donated by Wipro and First Book for the school’s library.

"The Brockett School Community is excited to partner with Wipro and First Book,” said Venessa Bines-Truitt, Principal of Brockett Elementary. “It takes a village to raise a child, is a popular proverb with a clear message: the whole community has an essential role to play in the growth and development of its young people. We believe partnerships with parents, families, communities, and other stakeholders are essential to quality public education and student success. Brockett Elementary is grateful for the volunteer support and literacy resources donated to our school by Wipro."

Wipro has previously worked with First Book to donate more than 6,200 books to students at Mary Bethune Elementary School in Atlanta in September 2015. The 2,000-book Brockett Elementary donation is part of a three-year partnership between Wipro and First Book to distribute more than 250,000 books across North America to children in need. 

“We have a strong presence in Atlanta and are happy to be engaged in a meaningful program that benefits our local community,” said Anurag Behar, Chief Sustainability Officer, Wipro Ltd. “Our hope is that our reading-focused efforts at Brockett Elementary will help make an impact on these students’ learning during the critical summer months.” 

A simple bag of books can help beat Summer Slide. In fact, research shows that children who are given access to books over the summer perform 35-40 percent better on reading achievement tests than those without access to books. Book ownership and a print-rich environment are leading indicators of a child’s educational success, but for the 32 million children growing up in low-income families in the U.S. alone, books are scarce. A recent study found that in one low-income neighborhood, there was only one book for more than 800 children, whereas in moderate income neighborhoods, there are 13 books for every one child. 

First Book, which has operations in both the U.S. and Canada, works with formal and informal educators serving children in need aged between 0-18 years in a wide range of settings – from schools, classrooms, summer school and parks and recreational programs, to health clinics, homeless shelters, faith-based programs, libraries, museums, summer food sites and more. The organization estimates there are more than 1.3 million classrooms and programs that are serving children in need in the U.S. alone, more than 4,500 of which sign up with First Book every month. 

“Wipro and its employees in Atlanta and across North America continue to go above and beyond to help bring First Book’s resources into the communities where they work and live,” said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book. “Thanks to the dedication and enthusiasm of Wipro’s employees at reading events and at book distributions, along with Wipro’s financial support, tens of thousands of children will experience the transformative power of books, to fuel learning and unlock their futures. We are enormously grateful.”  

About First Book

First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise founded in 1992 that has distributed more than 160 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada, which, with more than 300,000 members, is the largest and fastest growing network of educators exclusively serving kids in need. 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. Eligible educators, librarians, program leaders, and others serving children in need can sign up at firstbook.org/register. For more information, please visit firstbook.org or follow the latest news on Facebook and Twitter.

About Wipro Limited.

Wipro Limited (NYSE: WIT, BSE: 507685, NSE: WIPRO) is a leading information technology, consulting and business process services company that delivers solutions to enable its clients do business better. Wipro delivers winning business outcomes through its deep industry experience and a 360 degree view of “Business through Technology.” By combining digital strategy, customer centric design, advanced analytics and product engineering approach, Wipro helps its clients create successful and adaptive businesses. A company recognized globally for its comprehensive portfolio of services, strong commitment to sustainability and good corporate citizenship, Wipro has a dedicated workforce of over 170,000, serving clients across 6 continents. For more information, please visit www.wipro.com.  

Media Contacts:
Melanie Boyer
First Book 
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Prathibha Das
Wipro Limited
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Brent Curry
Hill+Knowlton Strategies
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(o) 312-255-3086

Forward-looking and Cautionary Statements
Certain statements in this release concerning our future growth prospects are forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks, and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties relating to these statements include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties regarding fluctuations in our earnings, revenue and profits, our ability to generate and manage growth, intense competition in IT services, our ability to maintain our cost advantage, wage increases in India, our ability to attract and retain highly skilled professionals, time and cost overruns on fixed-price, fixed-time frame contracts, client concentration, restrictions on immigration, our ability to manage our international operations, reduced demand for technology in our key focus areas, disruptions in telecommunication networks, our ability to successfully complete and integrate potential acquisitions, liability for damages on our service contracts, the success of the companies in which we make strategic investments, withdrawal of fiscal governmental incentives, political instability, war, legal restrictions on raising capital or acquiring companies outside India, unauthorized use of our intellectual property, and general economic conditions affecting our business and industry. Additional risks that could affect our future operating results are more fully described in our filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. These filings are available at www.sec.gov. We may, from time to time, make additional written and oral forward-looking statements, including statements contained in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and our reports to shareholders. We do not undertake to update any forward-looking statement that may be made from time to time by us or on our behalf. 

First Book and Macmillan Mark 50thAnniversary of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? With First-ever Bilingual Edition

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?/Oso Pardo, Oso Pardo, ¿Qué Ves Ahí? Expands First Book’s Stories for AllTM Project, Bringing Classics and Diverse Books to Kids in Need

WASHINGTON, May 8, 2017 – First Book, the nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed more than 160 million books to kids in need, and Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group are ensuring that children in need from diverse backgrounds have access to classic books with the release of a limited special edition of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?/ Oso Pardo, Oso Pardo, ¿Qué Ves Ahí?. This first bilingual version of the iconic children’s book also celebrates the 50th anniversary of the title’s publication this year. The First Book edition of the English-Spanish board book is available exclusively on the First Book Marketplace (www.fbmarketplace.org),the organization’s award-winning e-commerce site that offers books and resources at low or no cost exclusively to educators and programs serving children in need. It is also available on the First Book Canada Marketplace (www.fbmpcanada.org).

The special edition of Brown Bear / Oso Pardo becomes the latest addition to First Book’s Stories for All ProjectTM, a groundbreaking initiative focused on increasing diversity in children’s books, and access to affordable, diverse titles. The Stories for All ProjectTM comprises more than a third of the First Book Marketplace’s 6,000 titles.

The impact of bilingual books extends beyond the classroom, First Book’s network of registered educators report. In a focus group comprised of representatives from First Book’s membership of 300,000 formal and informal educators, participants asserted that increased access to books improves the literacy of the entire family, and reduces the isolation experienced by immigrants and English Language Learners, both students and their parents.

“All of us are familiar with the delight that reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear generates in young children. But for kids from low-income backgrounds, lack of access to relevant, culturally appropriate books dramatically inhibits not only the development of a love of reading, but also their future academic success.” said Kyle Zimmer, First Book president and CEO. “We’re thrilled to extend our long-standing partnership with Macmillan to celebrate the anniversary of this beloved book and introduce it to a new audience through the First Book Marketplace.”

"It has been our pleasure to discover how much Brown Bear has meant to families during the 50 years since it was published, and we are thrilled to partner with First Book to make Brown Bear accessible to even more families,” said Laura Godwin, vice president and publisher of Godwin Books, an imprint of Henry Holt Books for Young Readers.

Macmillan has also developed resources and activity kits for teachers to use as a companion to the book in the classroom.
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About First Book

First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise founded in 1992 that has distributed more than 160 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada, which, with more than 300,000 members, is the largest and fastest growing network of educators serving kids in need. 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. Eligible educators, librarians, program leaders, and others serving children in need can sign up at firstbook.org/register. For more information, please visit firstbook.org or follow the latest news on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact:
Melanie Boyer, First Book
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(202) 639-0114

First Book and NEA Foundation Commit to Supporting Social and Emotional Learning for Kids in Need Through Increased Access to Diverse Books

Diverse books can catalyze empathy, understanding—a teacher-identified top-priority

WASHINGTON, April 17, 2017 – First Book, the nonprofit social enterprise, and the NEA Foundation, are joining in a two-year partnership to respond to a teacher-identified top education priority—the acute need to cultivate social and emotional wellness, by expanding the Stories for All ProjectTM , First Book’s groundbreaking initiative focused on increasing diversity in children’s books, and access to affordable, diverse titles.  

Researchers have found that children's literature reflecting multiethnic cultures told by authentic voices can have a powerful impact on the central elements of social and emotional learning (SEL) – enhancing empathy toward others as well as interest in reading and academic performance. Yet there is a shocking lack of diverse content in children’s books—according to the Children’s Cooperative Book Center, out of more than 3,000 children’s books reviewed in 2016 only eight percent featured African-American characters; seven percent featured Asian-Pacific Americans, less than five percent featured Latin or Hispanic characters and just one percent featured Native Americans.

“The NEA Foundation has always asserted that America’s children deserve excellence,” said Harriet Sanford, president and CEO of the NEA Foundation. “Teachers, who know best what they need to deliver excellence, identified early-on that SEL was the most significant missing piece in a test-driven environment. We know that when children to see themselves, and empathetic portrayals of children very different from themselves, in the books they read, it has a powerful impact on their own emotional growth. Partnering with First Book to increase access to affordable, diverse, age-appropriate titles is the logical—and critical—next step in delivering excellence.”

Through the partnership, the NEA Foundation provided funding for an additional winner of Lee & Low Books’ New Visions Award, an honor given each year to a previously unpublished author of color, and to issue affordable special edition paperbacks on the First Book Marketplace of four existing titles previously only available in hardcover.

The Wind Called My Name, by Mary Louise Sanchez, which traces the story of 10-year-old Margarita as she confronts racism in a new town during the Great Depression, will be published in 2018 with Lee & Low Books.

The four paperback titles are available exclusively on the First Book Marketplace, First Book’s award-winning site offering brand new books and educational resources – at the lowest possible prices or for free – to schools and programs serving children in need. A free, downloadable tipsheet will be developed for each title, with guidelines on how educators can use the book to create opportunities for student learning and shared experiences that embrace the importance of diversity and foster understanding both in and out of the classroom setting.

The two-year partnership also includes more than $100,000 in grants from the NEA Foundation, which will be used to provide eligible educators with credits to purchase diverse books through the First Book Marketplace.

“Social and emotional learning has been cited as a national priority, with implications for everything from economic viability to decreasing violence,” said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book. “Providing teachers with the materials and support they need to benefit their students, especially when the absence of those materials can create profound social fissures, is our responsibility. The NEA Foundation’s support is allowing us to expand our offerings and extend our reach, both things that are, at this moment in time, necessary and urgent.”

First Book’s Stories for All ProjectTM has already made a tangible difference. To date, the organization has added approximately 2,000 diverse titles to its offerings, launched books previously only available in hard-cover in affordable paperback formats, and even influenced publisher decisions in making new, bilingual titles available at retail. Additionally, in a survey of the First Book network of more than 300,000 educators, respondents reported that access to diverse books has:

  • Sparked new programming and curriculum activities focused on diverse cultures. 80 percent of respondents said these books would enable them to develop new programming or curriculum activities focused on diverse cultures.
  • Helped children learn about different cultures. 91 percent of respondents said these books would enable children to learn more about classmates from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Enabled children to learn about their own culture and see themselves in books, often for the first time. 94 percent of respondents said these books would enable the children they serve from Latino families to see themselves in books in ways they never have before. In addition, 73 percent said they had very few books highlighting Latino history and culture prior to this initiative. 

The Stories for All ProjectTM comprises more than a third of the First Book Marketplace’s 6,000 titles.

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About First Book

First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise founded in 1992 that has distributed more than 160 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada, which, with more than 300,000 members, is the largest and fastest growing network of educators serving kids in need. 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. Eligible educators, librarians, program leaders, and others serving children in need can sign up at firstbook.org/register. For more information, please visit firstbook.org or follow the latest news on Facebook and Twitter.

The NEA Foundation

The NEA Foundation is an independent, public charity supported by contributions from educators, corporate sponsors, and others. We partner with education unions, districts, and communities to create powerful, sustainable improvements in teaching and learning. Visit neafoundation.org for more information.

About Lee & Low Books

Established in 1991, Lee & Low Books is the largest children’s book publisher in the United States specializing in diversity. Under several imprints, the company provides a comprehensive range of notable diverse books for beginning readers through young adults. Lee & Low titles have received major awards and honors including the Coretta Scott King Award, the Pura Belpré Award, the Sibert Medal, the NAACP Image Award, and many more. Visit leeandlow.com to learn more. 

Contact:
Melanie Boyer, First Book
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(202) 639-0114

Newbery Medal-winning Author Kwame Alexander Joins National Geographic and First Book to Support Kids in Need

Educator-focused event features keynote address from Alexander and reading from his book, Animal Ark: Celebrating Our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures, a National Geographic Kids publication

WASHINGTON, April 3, 2017 – Tomorrow night, Newbery Medal-winning author Kwame Alexander will address hundreds of educators and professionals supporting children in need about the empowering and inspiring role of poetry in young people’s education. The event will culminate with a gift of a signed copy for each educator of Alexander’s National Geographic Kids book, Animal Ark: Celebrating Our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures, in addition to other resources. The event is a partnership with First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed more than 160 million books to kids in need, and National Geographic. National Geographic will host the event at its Washington, D.C., headquarters. Video footage of the event will be made available to educators nationwide.

In a 2015 survey of First Book members, all of whom exclusively serve children in need, 93 percent of respondents cited sparking a love of reading as the primary motivation for accessing books for their classrooms and programs. The educators ranked developing this affinity for reading even above the development of the skills to read at grade level, which was cited as a goal by 79 percent of respondents. In the same survey, 87 percent of educators and program leaders saw an increased interest in reading among the kids they serve after distributing books from First Book.

“Kwame’s commitment not only to literacy, but to sparking the love of reading in young people, is critical to building a generation of empathetic, informed adults,” said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book. “We are very grateful to him, and to National Geographic, for partnering with us to connect with local educators and, just as important, for their strong support of First Book in our work to ensure that all children in need across the country have equal access to educational opportunities.”

Animal Ark: Celebrating Our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures, is a picture book that pairs the stunning photography of National Geographic Fellow and photographer Joel Sartore with Alexander’s mix of poetry and prose, and it celebrates the beauty, diversity and fragility of the animal world. The book was coauthored by Mary Rand Hess and Deanna Nikaido.

KPMG has provided generous support for the event and distribution of books to educators in the DC Metro Area in celebration of its partnership with both First Book and National Geographic. Its efforts are a part of KPMG’s Family for Literacy Program, which combats illiteracy by providing new books to children in need.

“We are thrilled to host Kwame at our headquarters and partner with First Book in sharing this powerful message of conservation,” said Jennifer Emmett, vice president of content for National Geographic Kids. “The combination of Joel’s beautiful images of animals from around the world and Kwame’s unique, lyrical text has created something truly special. We are excited to share Animal Ark with First Book’s network of educators supporting children in need.”

The event is part of First Book’s Authors & Illustrators in Action program. In addition to their creative contributions, prominent children’s book creators have supported the organization in raising awareness and funds to promote literacy and education in their local communities and across the country, in classrooms, online and at other events. Since its founding, the organization has built a network of more than 300,000 educators — a number that represents 23 percent, or nearly one in four — of the estimated 1.3 million formal and informal educators working in the lives of children in need in the U.S.  
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About First Book

First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise founded in 1992 that has distributed more than 160 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada, which, with more than 300,000 members, is the largest and fastest growing network of educators exclusively serving kids in need. 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. Eligible educators, librarians, program leaders and others serving children in need can sign up at firstbook.org/register. For more information, please visit firstbook.org or follow the latest news on Facebook and Twitter.

About National Geographic Partners LLC

National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 129 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching over 730 million people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information, visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

About KPMG

KPMG is one of the world’s leading professional services firms, providing innovative business solutions and audit, tax, and advisory services to many of the world’s largest and most prestigious organizations. KPMG is the fastest-growing Big Four professional services firm in the United States and is widely recognized for being a great place to work and build a career. Its people share a sense of purpose in the work we do, and a strong commitment to community service, inclusion and diversity, and eradicating childhood illiteracy. Learn more at www.kpmg.com/us.
KPMG LLP is the independent U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”). KPMG International’s independent member firms have 189,000 professionals, including more than 9,000 partners, in 152 countries.

Contact:
Melanie Boyer, First Book
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(202) 639-0114

Caitlin Holbrook, National Geographic
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(202) 912-6714