Nonprofit Launches Effort to Bring Books to Latino Kids in Need

In an effort to reach more Latino children, First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise, has created a collection of books specifically for young Hispanic readers. The books are available exclusively to educators and community leaders serving kids in need.

In addition, First Book is dramatically expanding its outreach to educators and community leaders serving children from Latino families. Educators who serve children in need sign up with First Book to get ongoing access to brand-new-high-quality books – for free and at low cost. Since last year, over 5,000 teachers and program leaders from Hispanic communities have signed up, and First Book has pledged to reach 5,000 more by April.

Thanks to funding from Disney, First Book is also able to offer a complete collection of 50 hand-picked titles for elementary school students, free of charge, to over 2,600 classrooms and programs.

“To become strong readers, kids need to have books in their hands that they’re excited to read,” said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book. “We hear from educators in Latino communities across the country who tell us that they need books that resonate with the children they serve, and now – thanks to the generosity of our friends at Disney – First Book is bringing tens of thousands of wonderful, brand-new books to classrooms and community programs everywhere.”

As part of the initiative, First Book was able to purchase 60,000 brand-new books, from a range of publishers, to create a Latino Culture collection of over 200 titles. Those books are available now for educators and program leaders who work with kids in need.

“There is such a richness to the storytelling traditions and the legacy of multiple generations of Hispanics in our country,” said Roxana Barillas, First Book’s director of Hispanic engagement. “We’re committed to showcasing not only those traditions and heritage, but also the talents of up and coming Latino authors and illustrators. We want all children, not just Hispanic children, to be able to access these stories.”