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First Book Adds School Supplies at Deeply Discounted Prices for Educators, Programs Serving Low-Income Communities

New Offerings, from Backpacks to Calculators, Answer the Call from Schools and Programs for Affordable Resources to Serve Children in Need

WASHINGTON, October 15, 2014 – Having already distributed over 120 million free and low-cost new books to schools and programs serving kids in need, the nonprofit social enterprise First Book is expanding its offerings to include school supplies and other educational resources. The new products come in response to feedback from First Book’s network of 140,000 educators and programs serving kids in need. In a recent First Book survey, nearly 70 percent of respondents said that, in addition to books, they also need low-cost school supplies.

Indeed, after First Book announced the online availability of school supplies on the First Book Marketplace, the new items sold out within 48 hours. Backpacks, crayons and calculators flew off the virtual shelves.

“Because our school budget doesn’t provide supplies for students, families have the responsibility of purchasing them. Some of our families just cannot afford them,” said Regina Warner, second and third grade teacher at PS 47x in the Bronx, New York. “This year, thanks to First Book, some of them don’t have to worry. We were able to provide Kits for Kids to five of our needy families.”

In addition to school supplies, First Book has also added educational board games, teacher resources and web-based programs, including the award-winning, personalized digital learning program Curiosityville, to the First Book Marketplace. Nonperishable snacks are also available as part of a pilot project with C&S Wholesale Grocers.

By aggregating the buying power of the 140,000 schools and programs in its network and buying in volume, First Book drives down costs and makes much-needed resources available at 50 to 90 percent off retail prices.

"Our society is long overdue in leveling the educational playing field in terms of access to critical resources,” said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book. “Thousands of educators across the country told us what they needed--and we will continue to answer this call with an increasingly broad array of critical education resources for the children needing them most."

First Book has the largest and fastest-growing network of educators and program leaders serving children from low-income families. Over 6,000 new schools and programs sign up with First Book each month.

In response to needs expressed by educators, First Book expects to add tablets, educational technology and hands-on learning tools and opportunities, such as discounted class trips to plays and museums, in the coming months.

About First Book

First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed more than 120 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.