October 29, 2019 | Press Release
Lubbock Area United Way has been selected to receive an award of $17,435 for new books that will expand the United Way’s mission. First Book, the nonprofit social enterprise focused on equal access to quality education for children in need, awarded the funds as part of its OMG Books Awards: Offering More Great Books to Spark Innovation, a program that will give more than $4.7 million in funding to distribute 1.5 million brand new books to children living in low-income communities in 33 U.S. states and territories.
Lubbock Area United Way will use the award to distribute books to Lubbock, Frenship, Lubbock-Coopper, and Shallowater Independent School Districts.
“With this award, we will be able to put new, high-quality books in the hands of the children we serve,” said Dr. Michelle McCord, Frenship Independent School District Superintendent and United Way Board Member. “Books and reading are the foundation of learning. This will undoubtedly impact our students as we continue our commitment to create a thriving environment where learners maximize their potential.”
Research indicates that just the presence of books in the home improves educational outcomes, 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.  (Reference below).
“We know that access to books makes a significant difference in a child’s future success,” said Kyle Zimmer, First Book president, CEO, and cofounder. “Children do not thrive in deeply under-resourced environments. This deprivation has long-term consequences for the children, their families, their communities and our nation. With the OMG Books Awards, First Book and Lubbock Area United Way are investing not only in the future of the kids we’re reaching, but in the overall wellbeing of our nation.”
About Lubbock Area United Way
Lubbock Area United Way and its Community Partners work daily in the Lubbock community to assist people with needs such as affordable childcare, crisis situations, character development, adult literacy, job training, and youth mentoring. A complete list of the Community Partners and the services they provide can be found online at www.liveunitedlubbock.org .
About First Book
First Book believes education offers children in need the best path out of poverty. Through sustainable, market-driven models, First Book breaks down barriers to quality education by making new, high-quality books and educational resources, including sports equipment, winter coats, snacks, and more, affordable to its member network of more than 400,000 registered educators who exclusively serve kids in need. Since 1992, First Book has distributed more learning materials than any other program of its kind: 175 million books and educational resources, worth more than $1.5 billion, reaching more than 5 million children annually across the U.S. and Canada.
Eligible educators, librarians, providers, and others serving children in need can sign up at firstbook.org/join. For more information, please visit firstbook.org or follow the latest news on Facebook and Twitter.