I have been signed up with First Book for several years. I teach kindergarten and first grade at Dayton Public Schools in the poverty-stricken inner city of Dayton, Ohio. I get plenty of emails from First Book, but have never received one book. Most books seem to be located in a warehouse in a large metropolitan area. You would have to drive a truck through states to get there.
— Mary Reed
Dayton Public Schools
It sounds like you signed up with First Book to get new books for your students, but we haven’t been able to help you make that happen yet. Let’s fix that.
There are actually two different ways you can get books from First Book.
The First Book Marketplace: Over 5,000 popular and award-winning titles, from board books to college prep, available exclusively to educators serving kids in need. This channel is great for teachers like you, who often need specific titles for their students.
The First Book National Book Bank: The nation’s only clearinghouse for large-scale book donations from publishers. These brand-new books are available free of charge (plus a shipping & handling fee), in carton quantities, and are perfect for educators or program leaders who want to help children start home libraries of their own.
Books from the The First Book Marketplace are available 24 hours a day, while books from the The First Book National Book Bank are available as new donations come in, usually once a month.
When we receive new books from publishers for the National Book Bank, they’re sent to a (borrowed) warehouse and we ship them out to everyone who requested books. We try to hold these local book distributions in different cities around the country, which helps people who can’t afford even the shipping charges.
But you don’t have to wait until there’s a book distribution near you. Once you’re signed up with First Book, you’re eligible for free books from every single distribution, whether the warehouse is in San Diego or Boston.
So the next time you get an email letting you know about a book distribution, check out the title list and let us know which books your kids will love and we’ll do everything we can to help you get them.
And we’ll put Dayton on our list of cities to visit someday soon.
Thanks for writing!