$50,000 grant will fund 13,000 books for Tennessee students

Posted at 1:16 PM, Feb 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-29 14:16:51-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Tennessee Department of Education has been selected to receive $50,000 in grant funding to purchase 13,000 books for Tennessee students. The grant comes from First Book, a nonprofit focused on equal, quality education for children in need.

The books intended to help develop a love of learning in students in Tennessee's distressed communities. Books will be provided to teachers and students who visit the Tennessee Residence, with one book for every child in kindergarten through the fifth grade at rural county schools that were identified with Targeted Support and Improvement or Additional Targeted Support and Improvement.

First Book awarded the grant as part of its OMG Books Awards, 'Offering More Great Books to Spark Innovation.' The program will give nearly $5 million in funding to distribute one and a half million new books and e-books to children in low-income communities in 33 states.

"We know that access to books and e-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 and too many of the schools and programs have far too little. This deprivation has long-term consequences for the children, their families, their communities and our nation...With the OMG Books Awards, First Book and the Tennessee Department of Education are investing not only in the future of the kids we're reaching, but in the overall wellbeing of our nation."

75 third graders from Glendale Elementary School in Nashville visited Tennessee Residence Friday, where Tennessee First Lady Maria Lee read to them. Teachers who were there were given new books for their classroom. Books focused on building the whole child and emphasizing service to others were selected.

"We are delighted and deeply grateful to partner with Commissioner [Penny] Schwinn and the Tennessee Department of Education in bringing high-quality, service-oriented books to the students and teachers who visit the Tennessee Residence," said First Lady Lee.

Eligible educators, librarians and providers can sign up to receive resources from First Book outside of the OMG Book Awards here.