September 28, 2006

Crapo Recognized For Literacy Efforts

First Book grant results far exceeded expectations; 330,000 books given to Idaho students

Washington, DC â?? This afternoon, a national childrenâ??s literacy organization honored Idaho Senator Mike Crapo for his efforts to secure books for Idaho children in need. Representatives from First Book met with Crapo in his Washington, D.C. office to thank him for his successful effort to secure a U.S. Department of Education grant for book distribution. In the past two years, First Book has handed out more than 330,000 books throughout Idaho.â??It is always a pleasure to find ways to bring the enjoyment of reading to Idaho school children,â?? Crapo said. â??There are a great number of children who have never had a new book of their own, and First Bookâ??s goal is to make certain that every child has one. When that happens, the world of reading opens up to a reader in a way that enhances ability and understanding. Reading is a foundation that is essential to academic success in future years. It has been thrilling to be there when a young boy or girl receives a book of his or her own for the very first time. Sometimes we take that type of possession for granted, and it has been a reminder to me of how precious and important reading is. I look forward to tracking the progress that First Book will continue to have in Idaho.â??â??Because of Senator Crapoâ??s commitment to literacy, First Book has reached tens of thousands of children in need throughout Idaho,â?? declared First Book President Kyle Zimmer. â??By giving these children access to books, they can develop a love of learning and reading that will last a lifetime and will positively affect the next generation.â??The grant assisted with funding to set up volunteer-led Advisory Boards throughout the state with self-sustaining structure. Fifteen Advisory Boards are now active in Idaho, and the original goal to distribute 212,000 books has been exceeded by more than 100,000 books. Book distributions have been held throughout the state; Crapo has been able to participate in several of the distributions.First Book is an international nonprofit organization with a single mission: to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. Through hundreds of local Advisory Boards, the First Book National Book Bank, and the First Book Marketplace, the organization provides an ongoing supply of new books to children participating in community-based mentoring, tutoring, and family literacy programs. First Book has provided more than 46 million new books to children in need in thousands of communities nationwide. For more information about First Book, please visit or call (866) 393-1222.