For the seventh year running, the staff of First Book journeyed to Ben’s Chili Bowl, a D.C. landmark, to celebrate Halloween, display their costumes, and eat half smokes. We hope you have a spooky and spectacular Halloween!
Posts in category Around the First Book Office
In celebration of National Summer Learning Day, First Book was lucky enough to bring 150,000 brand-new books to the National Mall to stuff into backpacks going to children in need all over the country. Seeing the the hundreds of volunteers that came out to support our efforts was a moving and inspiring sight. Thanks to the hard work of all those involved, we were able to provide 50,000 children with 3 brand-new books of their own for the summer.
Our goal is to get 2 MILLION BOOKS to underprivileged kids throughout the country this summer. If you know of any programs or schools that serve underprivileged children, have them register with us to get books to their students (http://www.firstbook.org/receive-books).
Please check out some of the photos and video that captures the fun and excitement of our distribution:
First Book’s own Erica Perl, Director of Publisher Relations at First Book, is also an award-winning children’s book author. Her most recent effort, When Life Gives You O.J., is her first middle grade novel and was called “a must read for all 8-12 year olds”. Erica’s love and knowledge of children’s literature is a huge help to us at First Book, and we’re so proud that her new book has been chosen as an Amazon Best Book for June, 2011.
When Life Gives You O.J. focuses on almost-eleven-year-old Zelly Fried, who has tried to convince her parents to let her have a dog for years. After all, practically everyone in Vermont owns a dog, and it sure could go a long way helping Zelly fit in since moving there from Brooklyn. But when her eccentric grandfather, Ace, hatches a ridiculous plan involving a “practice dog” named O.J., Zelly’s not so sure how far she’s willing to go to win a dog of her own. Is Ace’s plan so-crazy-it-just-might-work… or just plain crazy?
In honor of the release of When Life Gives You O.J., Erica will be giving away a gift set that includes a signed copy of the book, a water bottle, and bag on Wednesday, June 15, 2011. How to win? Follow @Firstbook on twitter tomorrow and answer this simple question: “What is a good children’s book for the summer?” Make sure to use the hashtag #kidlit in your response. The winner will be picked randomly and announced on Thursday, June 16, 2011.
Check out the book trailer for When Life Gives You O.J. below:
Today’s guest blog post is from Susanne Sparks, an engagement manager at First Book. She’s passionate about leveling the playing field so that all children can learn, grow, and thrive.
Last week, I traveled to Jacksonville, Fla. with three of my colleagues to distribute books via the First Book National Book Bank. As a new staff member, I knew facts about how the First Book National Book Bank operated, but was eager to learn more about the process.
The First Book National Book Bank distributes excess inventory from over 90 publishing partners to educators and youth workers serving children from impoverished homes. Disney Publishing Worldwide donated the 430,000 we processed out of Jacksonville.
The distribution had three phases. Tuesday, apply shipping labels to half of the boxes and get them out the door via six tractor trailers. Wednesday, gather boxes of books for pick-up at the warehouse. Thursday and Friday, meet the recipient group representatives—teachers, youth workers, and other “changemakers”—and help load the books into their cars, trucks, trailers, and yes, even a school bus.
Moms are near and dear to us, here at First Book. Many of us are moms, and all of us have moms, of course, but more than that, when we look at the people who support First Book – through donations, volunteering and helping us spread the word – we see a lot of mothers. We think that’s because, while no one likes to see kids without books to call their own, mothers like it even less than the rest of us.
So to celebrate Mother’s Day, please consider making a donation to First Book in the name of a special mom in your life, and send her this nifty e-card to let her know you were thinking about her. We’ll use your generous donation to continue providing access to new books for children in need.
This week is National Volunteer Appreciation Week, and we want to take a moment to say “Thank you!” to all the First Book volunteers – the interns who give their time and knowledge at the First Book offices, the volunteers who come out to our reading parties and book distributions, the high school students and teachers who help us distribute tons of books (literally) each year, and the thousands of members of First Book Advisory Boards all across the country who raise over a million dollars every year to support schools and programs in their local communities.
We couldn’t do it without you.
Wu Qing, a political leader and and renowned human rights advocate, visited the First Book office yesterday to tell us a little about her work in China. One of the many hats she wears is that of an educator: helping rural women in China find their voice in a society often dominated by men. READ MORE »
First Book loves March Madness! We even have a “friendly” bracket competition going on in the office – although President Obama’s bracket was beating all of us the last time we checked.
Even in the midst of the drama and excitement of the tournament, we recognize that basketball teaches so many meaningful life lessons: courage, cooperation, dedication and hard work. Many of the inspirational lessons taught on the basketball court can also be found in the basketball-related titles that we carry in the First Book Marketplace. READ MORE »