First Book recently celebrated the distribution of our 80 millionth book. While we couldn’t be prouder of the success this represents, we are even more excited about the future of books and our unique opportunity – thanks to the experienced voices of the educators and program leaders who work with us – to help guide the publishing industry as it evolves.
You need only look at the front page of the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal to understand that ebooks, Kindles, and iPhones are changing the way people read. We know, however, that while the formats may be changing, the fundamental question of access is not. Children from low-income families will still need access to this content, regardless of its format – now more than ever.
First Book is taking strong steps to be a leader in the digital category. In 2010 we completed a successful pilot program with the award-winning WordWorld, LLC which distributed more than 65,000 ebook CD-ROMs to First Book programs. Based on the success of this project, we are currently exploring a range of opportunities across the digital spectrum – from lower-tech options like educational DVDs to higher-tech resources like e-readers, proprietary ebooks, and downloadable content for educators.
To ensure we do the job right, we need feedback from the people who use First Book’s resources. As we continue this work we will be reaching out to educators and program leaders to tell us what digital and electronic resources you need to help the children that you serve. We want to continue to provide the best and most innovative resources for everyone in the First Book family, so that no child gets stranded on the other side of the digital divide.
Do you work with kids from low-income communities as a teacher or in a mentoring or tutoring program?
If so, tell us what kind of digital resources you’d like to see from First Book in the future.