More than 10,000 free books are being provided to Toledo teachers and paraprofessionals as part of a project involving the American Federation of Teachers, AFT Michigan and First Book, a national nonprofit that has distributed more than 90 million books to children across the country over the last 20 years.
“Our teachers and paraprofessionals are committed to ensuring that all children have the learning resources they need, and having books in the home is a huge factor in promoting literacy,” said TFT President Kevin Dalton, who will be among those from Toledo making the trip. “When kids have books of their own, they are more likely to take joy in learning and develop a lifelong love of reading. Our members are thrilled to have this opportunity to get books into their students’ hands.”
This week’s book bank operation in Detroit is being conducted as one of the activities leading up to the AFT’s national convention at Cobo Center, July 27-30. In addition to the Toledo group, Detroit-area teachers and school staff will pick up the free books they ordered through First Book for their students throughout the day on July 19.
Over the last several months, First Book and the AFT have developed projects with AFT affiliates across the country, including those in Cincinnati and Cleveland—all designed to get free books into the hands of children who otherwise would not be able to afford them.
“We’re working with our friends at the AFT to make sure kids in Michigan and around the nation get the resources they need to thrive and succeed,” said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book.
“Teachers, better than anyone, understand the impact that books have. By working together with teachers and school staff, First Book is ensuring that kids have new books of their own.”