United We Serve: Packing Backpacks with the First Family

Last Thursday, June 25th, I was lucky enough to join the President, the First Lady, and hundreds of Congressional family members to prepare 15,000 backpacks with books and other items for the children of servicemen and women. With the incredibly generous support of Random House Children’s Books and Disney Publishing Worldwide, First Book was able to donate 30,000 books (two for each backpack!) with a retail value of almost $250,000.

The service event highlighted ‘United We Serve,’ President Obama’s call to all First Book President Kyle Zimmer and President ObamaAmericans to engage in service projects and create meaningful impact in their towns and communities. The ‘United We Serve’ summer service initiative began June 22nd and runs through the National Day of Service and Remembrance on September 11th. The initiative is being led by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency dedicated to fostering service in communities across the country.

Curious about the books the President and the First Lady helped us pack?  Here’s the list — full of great choices for your own summer reading!

  • Clementine by Sara Pennypacker and illustrated by Marla Frazee
  • Magic Tree House #28: High Tide in Hawaii by Mary Pope Osborne
  • The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  • The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
  • Heroes of the Valley by Jonathan Stroud
  • Holes by Louis Sachar
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Posted in Authors & Illustrators, Books & Reading, First Book Events, First Book Partners, Philanthropy
2 comments on “United We Serve: Packing Backpacks with the First Family
  1. Gina says:

    Bravo Chandler, Kyle, the most dynamic Jane R. and the rest of the First Book team for taking such an important role in this great new initiative! The country is watching and citizens are starting to rally. Glad that First Book and your work to bring books to kids is getting a fresh round of attention. First Book is an investment in the future of America, in my opinion.

  2. Carol Rasco says:

    Great work, friends!