Offering More Great Bilingual Books Program

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AFT Utah received $52,500 from a grant submission requesting funds from the First Book OMG Books Awards. AFT Utah received one of the largest amounts in the Nation for their Offering More Great Bilingual Books program. Working with local AFT union leaders in Salt Lake School District and Weber School District, thousands of books were distributed to teachers, students, and the Latinos in Action organization. AFT Utah was featured in the AFT National Publication for their grant.

First Book Launches $4.7 Million in OMG Books Awards

Nonprofit social enterprise to award more than one million new books and eBooks to children in need in 33 states

WASHINGTON (January 10, 2019) First Book, the nonprofit social enterprise focused on equal access to quality education for children in need, today announced the launch of OMG Books Awards: Offering More Great Books to Spark Innovation, a program that will unlock more than $4.7 million in funding to distribute 1.5 million brand new books for distribution to children living in low-income communities. First Book estimates the total value of the books distributed will be more than $12 million.

Through a competitive RFP process, First Book will award funding to the most innovative proposals from eligible applicants in 33 states, implementing a court settlement unrelated to First Book. Awardees will be able to select the books that will help them best meet the needs of the children they serve through the First Book Marketplace (, First Book’s award-winning eCommerce platform, which curates relevant new, high quality books and eBooks. Through the OMG Books program, First Book aims to expand its reach and multiply its impact by infusing schools, programs, states, and communities with books to spark innovation and strengthen educators’ work with children in need and their families.

Education consistently ranks among the highest priorities for Americans, yet

,” said Kyle Zimmer, First Book president, CEO, co- founder. “Educators are grossly under-resourced, especially in low-income communities,

and working at maximum effort with what they have. With OMG Books, First Book is not only addressing a recognized national priority, we’re also supporting educators so they can provide the best education possible to kids in need.”

Access to adequate resources is one of the greatest contributors to educational success in the United States. Research indicates that just the presence of books in the home improves educational outcomes,1 yet low-income communities across the U.S. are plagued by vast ‘book deserts’—with one community having only a single book per as many as 830 children.2 Additionally, members of the First Book Network, who exclusively serve kids in need, have indicated that without First Book, the children they

1 Sikora, et al. DOI
2 Susan B. Neuman, Naomi Moland. “Book Deserts.” Urban Education, 2016. DOI: 10.1177/0042085916654525


funding is still below pre-recession levels in 23 states, and the need for resources is

taking on an acute sense of urgency

serve would have access to very few books, if any at all.3

Grants will be awarded in 33 states and award amounts will vary by state. Organizations serving children in need in the following 33 U.S. states/territories are eligible to apply: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

RFP response due dates are divided into three cycles with specified states in each cycle. Cycle I proposals are due on February 15, 2019; Cycle 2 and multi-state proposals are due on May 15, 2019; and Cycle 3 proposals are due on August 15, 2019. Detailed information is included in the RFP, which can be downloaded at Questions can be directed to

First Book is additionally offering opportunities for community, foundation, and corporate partners who wish to accelerate and amplify OMG Books in their communities. Questions can be directed to