All of us at First Book are deeply saddened to see the horrendous flooding and devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey. Our hearts are especially with our First Book family: the thousands of Gulf Coast-area educators we serve, their students, and our Team First Book supporters in Matagorda County and Houston. While first responders help families with shelter, food, and water, we know that the next phase of restocking books and resources is just as critical. Books and essentials can support the social-emotional well-being of children following this catastrophic event. Once schools reopen, replacing moldy books in school and home libraries, and providing resources to support a return to normalcy are also needed.
This week, First Book, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, launched a Hurricane Harvey Relief campaign, with support from First Book’s publishing partners. The initiative is part of a new Essentials for Kids Fund – which will support books, educational resources and basic needs items for educators and students at underfunded schools nationwide. We are also continuing to monitor Hurricane Irma to provide additional support as needed. You can read the full news release about this initiative here. First Book is included in Charity Navigator’s approved list of highly-rated organizations responding in the aftermath of the storm.
If you have been affected by the storm and would like to be made aware of financial support to obtain books and resources from First Book, and are not already a member of our network, please sign up here. We will be reaching out to as many individuals as possible to share funds as they become available. There are also very affordable resources available now on the First Book Marketplace and First Book National Book Bank for those affected by the storms or fulfilling the needs of their classroom or program.