Access to quality books and educational materials can make the critical difference in helping children succeed – in school and in life.  In middle class and affluent communities, children have ready access to books – through books at home, in their schools, and in places throughout their community.  By alarming comparison, in some of the lowest income neighborhoods in the country, there is only 1 book for every 300 children!  This disparity puts millions of children from low-income families at a clear disadvantage today and in their futures. You can help.

First Book, a non-profit committed to ending this disparity, developed a list of “10 Books Every Child Should Own” to draw attention to the critical need for new books for kids in need. First Book invited people of all ages to vote online for the title they would like to see be the 100 millionth book provided to schools and other programs serving low-income communities – from “Green Eggs and Ham” to “Where the Wild Things Are.”

On Thursday, Nov. 15, the book receiving the most votes will be announced as First Book’s 100 millionth book.  Click here to find out which title won!  While 100 million books is a great accomplishment, there is much more work ahead.

For children to flourish as productive adults in a literate world, they need ongoing access to a rich array of quality books, educational resources and experiences. Millions of American children are still waiting for that chance.

‘Photo by McGrath Photo’

About First Book
First Book is a unique organization that provides access to new, high-quality books and other educational resources at low or no-cost to schools and programs serving children in need. Over the last 20 years, the organization has provided an innovative and sustainable solution for filling the resource gap and transforming learning environments for kids in need. First Book has provided almost 100 million books for kids from birth through age 18 – from picture books to college prep. The organization has reached more than 40,000 schools, libraries, day cares, shelters and other programs. Unfortunately, this is less than 2% of the eligible schools and programs that serve millions of children, children who don’t have books at home, at their schools or in their community.  You can help by giving the gift of reading this holiday season.  A $25 donation means 10 books to a child in need.  Learn more here.

This is more than not having a bedtime story.  (Although, can you imagine your childhood without your favorite book?)  This is about a basic tool to help kids learn, and to bridge an enormous divide between information haves and have nots – which impacts millions of kids right here in the U.S.  Books are the key to unlocking kids’ futures, to support learning, understanding and to prepare kids for jobs and life.

If you know a teacher or other professional who works with kids in need, please let them know about the opportunity to register with First Book to choose new books for free or at dramatically reduced costs. Encourage them to sign up by visiting www.firstbook.org and be sure follow First Book on Twitter and Facebook

SocialMoms is also helping celebrate with a prize of our own! Five lucky moms chosen randomly by SocialMoms will be able to donate a package of the top 10 classic books every child should own to a school or program serving low income children through First Book. SocialMoms will also give away a $100 Visa gift card to one random winner. What was your favorite book from childhood?  Just leave a comment below to enter for a chance to win.  (Official rules)