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December 30, 2015

Literacy Nonprofit Expands With Book Sales and More Goods

First Book, a charity founded 23 years ago in Washington, D.C., to foster early reading among low-income children, has grown into a sophisticated national organization offering discounted as well as donated books and a growing array of supplies for disadvantaged households, The Washington Post writes.

Ranked by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as the country's 290th largest charity, First Book gave away 15 million books in 2015 and has expanded its charitable arsenal to include winter coats, blankets, nonperishable snacks, and other materials.

The group also operates an online marketplace to sell volumes donated by publishers and retailers or commissioned by the First Book itself at deep discounts to institutions serving low-income families, in the process influencing the direction of children's literature. The charity's user registry — including teachers, libraries, health clinics, shelters, and faith groups — has grown from 40,000 in 2012 to more than 215,000.

Read a 2006 Chronicle of Philanthropy profile of First Book.