Press Release

AFT, First Book-DC to Distribute 40,000 Free Books for Low-Income Kids

For Release: 

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Janet Bass

WASHINGTON— On Saturday, April 26, the American Federation of Teachers and First Book-DC, along with other partners, will distribute 40,000 free books to Washington, D.C.-area public school educators and representatives of more than 200 community groups that serve children of low-income families.

The Pi Beta Phi Foundation donated the bulk of the funding for the books, along with First Book-DC.  The AFT convened the distribution effort, along with the Washington Teachers Union and the national and Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO.

"This is about getting age-appropriate, new books into the hands of children, some of whom have never had a book to call their own. A child who loves to read will be better prepared for school, college, career and life. Encouraging reading is one way we are reclaiming the promise of public education," said AFT President Randi Weingarten.

Darla Bunting, co-chair of First Book DC, said, "In resource-strapped schools, many teachers and nonprofits supporting them struggle to provide an ongoing supply of high-quality books. First Book-DC works to meet this major book need in communities where books are scarce."

WHEN:        Saturday, April 26
WHERE:      AFL-CIO lobby – 815 16th St., NW, Washington, D.C.

6:00 a.m.—    First shift of volunteers unpack, sort and stack books based on age of reader.

2:00 p.m.—    Brief program with speakers from First Book-DC, Washington Teachers Union, Metro AFL-CIO and Pi Beta Phi.

2:30 p.m.—    Book distribution – only to educators and groups that registered, not to the general public.

(Books are distributed on a first-come, first- serve basis. We expect them to be gone within three hours.)

Also, on Friday, April 25, at a Children's National Medical Center Hospital volunteer appreciation event, First Book-DC will announce it is donating 1,000 books for Children's National volunteers to read to children in the main hospital and at more than 20 clinics serving children in the Washington, D.C., area.


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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.