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First Bookprovides new books for children in need addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy-access to books. First Book-Bonneville County is a Local Advisory Board consisting entirely of volunteers who provide outreach and fundraise to provide books for children in rural Southeast Idaho.
Each book grant is an allotment made to a recipient group based on the number of children in the program multiplied by the number of books each child will receive. Each child participating in the program will receive multiple books distributed throughout the time period of the grant, generally from six to ten books per child per year.
Recipient groups use the funds awarded to select and order books from catalogs. These catalogs are distributed by publishers who partner with First Book and include thousands of titles encompassing a wide range of reading levels and interests. This provides the recipients access to the highest quality of books. First Book has negotiated significant discounts, including free shipping, from a variety of children's publishers including Disney Publishing Worldwide, Random House Children's Books, Scholastic Inc., and Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, just to name a few.
Books are shipped directly from the publishers to the programs. First Book assures that each book will be new and that each book is accompanied by a bookplate that allows the child to write his or her name inside. Bonneville County book distributions are celebrated in a number of ways. For example, local firefighters have been invited to join in the festivities and read stories to the children. The local news media also attended and provided us with good coverage thus helping build our community's awareness of First Book activities.
One of our Board members, the Recipient Liaison, works with each recipient group to track the progress of each award. Each recipient group is required to submit a mid-grant evaluation to document the process of the grant awarded to them. That report is reviewed by the Local Advisory Board and forwarded to First Book national office.
- Kathy Duplessis
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