First Book (firstbook.org) provides new, age-appropriate books to children in need across the U.S. Access to books remains one of the biggest barriers to tackling illiteracy, particularly in low-income schools that lack adequate funding for educational materials. To fill that gap, First Book has provided more than 90 million books to 27,000 schools and educational programs since it was founded, in 1992. Through its National Book Bank, dozens of publishers can efficiently donate excess inventory of millions of children’s books each year, and the First Book Marketplace leverages the purchasing power of low-income schools to obtain new books and teaching materials at up to 90 percent off retail prices.
Each charity we feature has earned a four-star overall rating from Charity Navigator, which ranks not-for-profit organizations on the strength of their finances, their control of administrative and fund-raising expenses, and the transparency of their operations. Four stars is the group’s highest ranking.