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Books2Kids Learning Initiative


The Nebraska Library Commission has been awarded a $28,000 grant for new books and eBooks from First Book, the nonprofit social enterprise focused on equal access to quality education for children in need. The award is part of First Book’s 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 and eBooks to children living in low-income communities in 33 states and territories.

As of March 4, 2020, we are no londer accepting new participants. All of the grant funding has been allocated to Nebraska institutions.

Books2Kids Learning Initiative webinar - Recorded online session and presentation slides - 1 hour. Learn more about First Book and the Books2Kids Learning Initiative.

The Books2Kids Learning Initiative                                             #Books2KidsNE

The Nebraska Library Commission's Books2Kids Learning Initiative will provide gift credits to eligible school libraries, public libraries, Head Start Programs, Native American communities, and Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Centers in Nebraska to purchase books and eBooks from the First Book Marketplace for the children and teens residing in their communities.

The First Book Marketplace offers thousands of brand new resources at 50-90 percent off retail price for kids from birth to 18. The average price is $3.50 per book or eBook. Orders with a subtotal of $25 or more include FREE shipping.

Each recipient knows best what books and eBooks they need, so they will select the books and ebooks themselves, to match their specific needs. The books will be mailed directly to the recipients. The dollar amount of the gift credits that each recipient will receive will depend on how many institutions register for the grant.

By purchasing books and eBooks through the Marketplace, recipients will provide children in need who reside in their communities with improved access to quality educational materials, programming, and experiences.

The Books2Kids Learning Initiative will facilitate the improvement of educational opportunities for children in need across Nebraska. Our goal is that the recipients will continue using the First Book Marketplace after the end of our OMG Books project, and explore beyond books and eBooks to the other resources available in the Marketplace.

Who is eligible to participate in the grant?

See the First Book Marketplace Eligibility FAQ.

How do I participate?

As of March 4, 2020, we are no londer accepting new participants. All of the grant funding has been allocated to Nebraska institutions.

1. Register in the First Book Marketplace. If you are already a registered First Book Marketplace member, you can also participate in the Nebraska Books2Kids Learning Initiative - start with Step 2 below.

2. Submit our Contact form to request your gift credits.

3. Gift credits will be emailed to you from First Book. This may take at least 48 hours.

4. Go to the First Book Marketplace to purchase your books and eBooks! Apply your gift credits at checkout.

What is the deadline to participate in the grant?

The gift credits will expire on March 16, 2020, so that the books and eBooks can be distributed by March 31, the end of the grant project.

Press Release: Nebraska Library Commission Awarded $28,000 for New Books and eBooks by Nonprofit First Book

About First Book 

First Book LogoFounded in Washington, D.C., in 1992 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit social enterprise, First Book is a leader in the educational equity field. Over its 27-year history, First Book has distributed more than 185 million books and educational resources, with a value of more than $1.5 billion. First Book believes education offers children in need the best path out of poverty. First Book breaks down barriers to quality education by providing its network of more than 450,000 registered teachers, librarians, after school program leaders, and others serving children in need with millions of free and affordable new, high-quality books, educational resources, and basic needs items through the award-winning First Book Marketplace nonprofit eCommerce site. The First Book Network comprises the largest and fastest-growing community of formal and informal educators serving children in need.

First Book also expands the breadth and depth of the education field through a family of social enterprises, including First Book Research & Insights, its proprietary research initiative, and the First Book Accelerator, which brings best-in-class research to the classroom via relevant, usable educator resources. First Book Impact Funds target support to areas of particular need, such as rural communities or increasing diversity in children’s books.

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