The Book Donation Campaign is a multi-year project of the U.S. Department of Education and First Booka national nonprofit organization whose mission is to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their own first new booksand a host of major U.S. book publishing companies. The campaign aims to improve the literacy skills of disadvantaged students by providing free books and reading materials to schools, libraries and literacy organizations serving low-income youth, especially in hurricane-affected communities and other high-need areas around the country. Since 2006, campaign partners and contributors have collaborated to distribute nearly three million books across the nation.
The Book Donation Campaign has included:
The 2008 Holiday Book Donation
On December 3, 2008, Deputy Secretary Simon visited W.W. Ashurst Elementary School on Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia to recognize the school's success as a U.S. Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary School and to announce the donation of more than 12,000 free new books for distribution during the holiday season, through the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.
The 2008 Back to School Book Donation
In September 2008, Deputy Secretary Ray Simon visited Jennie Moore Elementary School in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina to announce the 2008 Back to School Book Donation. This donation made available more than 300,000 new Random House books to schools, libraries, and literacy organizations serving disadvantaged youth across the country. The Back to School Book Donation marked the distribution of the balance of over 850,000 books that Random House donated to First Book and the U.S. Department of Education in 2008.
The 2008 Summer Reading Initiative
In May 2008, Secretary Margaret Spellings visited Edward Brooke Charter School in Roslindale, Massachusetts to announce the 2008 Summer Reading Initiative. The Initiative is the first stage of a national distribution of over 850,000 free Random House Children's books to schools, libraries and literacy organizations serving low-income youth across the country.
The 2007 Holiday Book Donation
In December 2007, Deputy Secretary Ray Simon visited Pittsburgh Fulton PreK-5 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to announce the Holiday Book Donation. The effort is designed to provide brand new, age appropriate Random House Children's Books to schools, libraries and literacy organizations serving low-income youth across the country.
The 2007 Adolescent Readers Initiative
In November 2007, Secretary Margaret Spellings visited Webb Middle School in Austin, Texas, to announce the Adolescent Readers Initiative, which enabled the distribution of 520,000 free, new Townsend Press books to improve the literacy skills of struggling adolescent readers in low income schools and communities.
Gulf Coast Book Donation
The Gulf Coast Book Donation, a joint venture of the U.S. Department of Education and First Book's Book Relief program, is helping replenish reading materials in schools, community libraries, and homes in hurricane-affected communities across the Gulf Coast states.