FIRST BOOK Offering Relief for Victims of Hurricane Sandy

By: Nov. 08, 2012
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In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, First Book, a nonprofit organization that provides new books to children in need, is raising funds to restock schools and home libraries throughout the affected communities.

Today, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the Albert Shanker Institute pledged to match all donations, dollar for dollar, up to $35,000 – enough to provide almost 30,000 brand-new books.

"Even as first responders and volunteers are working to provide these families with electricity, water, and other critical resources, First Book is joining forces with our local partners to replace hundreds of thousands of lost or damaged books in schools and libraries in low-income communities," said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book.

"After distributing more than five million books in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, we know new books can be valuable lifelines for those whose worlds have been turned upside down," Zimmer said. "Now, thanks to the generosity of the American Federation of Teachers and The Albert Shanker Institute, we'll be able to fill twice as many shelves with new books for kids that need them."

Every $2.50 contributed to First Book's relief fund will be matched by the AFT and Albert Shanker Institute. Click here to donate, or visit

"The AFT family is rallying together to help with the recovery in the wake of Hurricane Sandy," said AFT President Randi Weingarten. "Our AFT Disaster Relief Fund is already helping many in New York and New Jersey and other places regroup and move forward after Sandy's devastation. That is our tradition, and we are proud to join with First Book to offer matching funds that will extend the reach of this effort to help children get their lives back together after the storm."

"In the wake of Sandy, the challenges of reconstruction are immense," said Leo Casey, executive director of the Albert Shanker Institute. "At the Shanker Institute, we are focused on restoring to the children devastated by Sandy the schools and the books that, as Shanker would have insisted, are their birthright as Americans. By partnering in this effort to replace books lost in the storm, the institute is doing what it can with its resources to fulfill that commitment."

In addition to the support of the AFT and Albert Shanker Institute, every $2.50 donation will be matched with an additional new book, thanks to First Book's partners in the publishing industry.


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