We Were Part of the Final Oprah ShowWe're not gonna lie. We love Oprah, and getting to be a part of her big finale was exciting. Oprah's fans donated enough to provide 23,000 brand-new books for kids in need in New Orleans and across the country. And when the audience of 13,000 people held those books up on Oprah's next-to-last episode for the whole world to see ... that was pretty awesome.
We Went All Over the Country Distributing New BooksPublishers donate millions (millions!) of new books to First Book, and we distribute them to schools and programs around the country that serve kids from low-income families. We borrow warehouse spaces from friends and partners and spend a week shipping books by the truckload.
We Distributed 150,000 Books on the National MallAs part of the United Way's annual Day of Action, First Book staffers and hundreds of volunteers packed 50,000 backpacks with new books for kids in need in the greater DC area.
We Spent a Lot of Time in West VirginiaFirst Book works with almost 30,000 local schools and programs all over the country. But thanks to a grant from the Dept. of Education, an exciting partnership with the American Federation of Teachers, and a deep-seated love of whitewater rafting and pepperoni rolls, we had a special focus on West Virginia in 2011.
We Spruced Up the First Book MarketplaceThe First Book Marketplace, our website available exclusively to members of the First Book network, got a major upgrade this year, making it easier to get quality books at affordable prices.
We Read Some Great BooksWe were able to add lots of great new titles to the First Book Marketplace this year - over 2,000 in all, including a special paperback edition of 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' exclusive to First Book programs. It is pretty cool.