Wednesday, February 6, 2013

First Book to Receive Security Benefit Corporation Award for Outstanding Service to Public Education from the NEA Foundation

Washington, DC (February 5, 2013) – First Book will receive The Security Benefit Corporation Award for Outstanding Service to Public Education at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala on Feb. 8, 2013 in Washington, DC. Past recipients of this prestigious award include former President Bill Clinton, Title IX advocate Billie Jean King, and Sesame Street Workshop.

The NEA Foundation presents this award to individuals and organizations for their lifelong commitment to advancing public education. It is typically presented to those who work outside the field.


First Book has pioneered groundbreaking channels to provide new books and educational resources at deeply reduced prices, and for free, to schools and programs serving children in need. Ninety seven percent of First Book's revenue goes directly to these books. To date, First Book has distributed more than 100 million new books to children in thousands of communities throughout the US and Canada.


“Instilling a love of reading in young children is one of the most important things we can do to help them on the path to success in school and in life,” said Harriet Sanford, President and CEO of the NEA Foundation. “This is why First Book’s goal to end global illiteracy is so critical.”


“Studies show that interest in reading more than triples among children who have received new books from First Book,” said Michael P. Kiley, Security Benefit Corporation Chief Executive Officer. “We applaud First Book for transforming the lives of children, and we are pleased and honored to recognize First Book for their efforts to end illiteracy.”


In partnership with Lee County Public Schools and the NEA Foundation, First Book will donate 20,000 new books in honor of the six student authors whose work was selected to be presented at the NEA Foundation’s annual Gala.


“Supporting teachers is at the heart of what we do at First Book,” said Kyle Zimmer, First Book’s president and CEO. “Teachers, librarians, support staff, and other educators are doing the hard work every day of transforming lives, and our mission is to ensure they have the books and resources they need. This award is so important to us, and we’re honored and delighted to receive it.”


Known as the academy awards of public education, the NEA Foundation’s gala attracts close to 800 leaders from the education, business and philanthropy sectors. First Book will be honored along with 38 of the nation’s top educators, recipients of the California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence, and Daniel Leeds, Co-founder and Board Chair of the Alliance for Excellent Education, who will accept the NEA Foundation’s Award for Philanthropy in Public Education.


The NEA Foundation and the National Education Association jointly present the awards with support from the Horace Mann Companies, NEA Member Benefits, the Pearson Foundation, California Casualty, and Promethean.


About First Book

First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed more than 100 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada. By making new, high-quality books available on an ongoing basis, First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education. For more information, please visit them online or follow their latest news on Facebook and Twitter.

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About The NEA Foundation
The NEA Foundation is a public charity supported by contributions from educators' dues, corporate sponsors, and others who support public education initiatives.We partner with education unions, districts, and communities to create powerful, sustainable improvements in teaching and learning. Visit for more information. Find us on Facebook and Twitter, and visit our blog.

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