With renewed funding from the TD Charitable Foundation, First Book launched the second year of its Banking on Books program which provides new books to schools and programs that serve children in need. With the Foundation's contribution, First Book distributed $1,000 book awards to 50 schools and programs. The awards were used to purchase thousands of new, high quality children's books on First Book's online Marketplace at prices far below retail.
First Book grant recipients include:
Connecticut: Boys and Girls Club of Stamford, New Britain Parks and Recreation Department
Delaware: 4H Afterschool, Walnut Street YMCA School's Out
District of Columbia: People Animals Love
Florida: A Brighter Day Academy, ASPIRE To Inc., Ephesus Junior Academy, Kidsville Early Learning Center, RCMA School Age Programs, What About The Children Inc.
Maine: Literacy Volunteers-Androscoggin, WMCA WIC Program
Massachusetts: Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester, Cambridge Somerville WIC Program, For Kids Only Afterschool, Springfield VACA Inc., The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holyoke Inc., The Salvation Army Kids Club
New Hampshire: Nashua Neighborhood Learning Center, Seacoast Youth Services and the Seabrook Adventure Zone, Winchester School ACCESS
New Jersey: Archway Programs – Just Kids at Hurffville Elementary School, ASPIRA of New Jersey, Bergen Family Center, Camelot Schools, Egg Harbor City Public Schools 21st CCLC REACH Program, Every Child Valued, Nurse Family Partnership United Way of Central Jersey, Paterson School Number 8, Unified Vailsburg Services Organization
New York: Albany Police Athletic League, Choice For All, City of Mount Vernon Youth Bureau, Girls Incorporated of the Greater Capital Region, Harriet Tubman Academic Skills Center, Liberty Partner Preschool, MPowering Kids, Ravenswood I Have a Dream Program, The Reading Team, Westcop Mamaroneck Child Development Center
North Carolina: Children First Communities in Schools of Buncombe County, New Hanover County Community Action Head Start, Western Carolina Community Action Inc.
Century Community Learning Center, Columbia North YMCA, EducationWorks, The Gift Preparatory School's ReCreate Summer Camp
South Carolina: Blessed To Care, Housing Authority of Lancaster Inc.
Vermont: OASIS Afterschool Program and Putney Family Services Inc., Student Success Winooski and Beyond
Virginia: The AnBryce Foundation
"Something as simple as access to a good book can be a powerful force in a child's life," said Elizabeth K. Warn, President of the TD Charitable Foundation "By partnering with local organizations such as First Book, the TD Charitable Foundation is able to make those books a reality, creating a real impact for children and families in our communities."
First Book and TD Bank also hosted four reading parties at eligible schools and community programs in Vermont, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Each participating organization received a $2,000 First Book Marketplace award, providing approximately 800 new books. TD Bank volunteers attended each event to read with children and to distribute backpacks, bookmarks and brand new books for children to take home and keep.
Studies have shown that access to books is one of the most critical factors in developing reading skills, and the ratio of books to children in some low-income neighborhoods is as low as one age-appropriate book for every 300 children, while middle-income neighborhoods average 13 books per home.