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First Book Marketplace Redesign Boosts E-Commerce Experience and Impact for Educators of Underserved Children

WASHINGTON, D.C. — First Book, the nonprofit social enterprise, has launched the next phase of its innovative First Book Marketplace (fbmarketplace.org) and First Book Canada Marketplace (fbmpcanada.org), the award-winning e-commerce sites where educators can access high-quality, new books and learning materials specially-curated to address the needs of children from low-income families.

Originally launched in 2008, the First Book Marketplace provides First Book’s network of educators, librarians, program leaders, and others serving children in need with thousands of free and affordable, high-quality, new books, educational resources and basic needs items. The retooled web sites were funded by two of First Book’s longtime corporate supporters, Disney and Target Corporation, and feature:

  • powerful search and navigation functions, enabling educators to align specific titles and resources with curriculum and/or student needs by interests, age or reading level and relevancy;
  • expedited processing to speed usability for busy educators;
  • shared knowledge from educators regarding how they use First Book resources;
  • specially-curated collections designed using direct feedback from First Book educators on popular topics, including family engagement, character development, health and wellness and diversity;
  • elevated access to First Book’s extensive Stories for All ProjectTM collection, showcasing diverse characters and content, including bilingual editions of popular books developed with leading children’s book publishers exclusively for the First Book Marketplace;
  • streamlined registration allowing educators to sign up for free with First Book to access resources;
  • accelerated access to First Book’s complete inventory, including school supplies, technology, digital learning materials, basic needs items, and educational activities.

“Educators need the very best tools – it is as simple as that,” said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book. “Great books and resources are even more important for the heroes serving children in need. First Book is dedicated to accelerating educational equality by ensuring that educators have access to a full array of best-in-class resources for children growing up in low-income families. The improvements we’ve made are directly based on feedback from our educators who help drive and inform the First Book Marketplace as their e-commerce solution for educational resources of all kinds. We cannot wait to see the full impact of this powerful new system.”

First Book promotes educational equality in under-resourced communities throughout the U.S. and Canada. A social enterprise, First Book aggregates the voice and purchasing power of educators to create a market-driven solution that is responsive to educator needs, with all resources provided at the lowest possible prices or for free. Each purchase made on the First Book Marketplace also helps First Book provide additional books and educational resources to children in need. In addition, First Book recruits third-party funding through individual donors, corporate funders and foundations for schools and programs that have low or no budget for books and other resources.

First Book currently reaches over 245,000 educators serving children in need and is growing by an average of 5,000 additional educators each month, making it the largest and fastest growing educational network of its kind in North America. Educators in First Book’s network use books and learning materials in a wide range of settings, from classrooms, libraries, after-school programs and homeless shelters to medical clinics, museums, summer food programs and more.

To learn more about the new and enhanced features and how to take advantage of the First Book Marketplace, visit https://blog.firstbook.org/category/using-the-first-book-marketplace/.

About First Book

First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed more than 145 million books and educational resources to schools and programs serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada. With more than 245,000 members, First Book is the largest and fastest growing network of educators serving kids in need. By making new, high-quality books and educational resources available on an ongoing basis, First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education. Eligible educators, librarians, program leaders, and others serving children in need can sign up at firstbook.org/register. For more information, please visit firstbook.org or follow the latest news on Facebook and Twitter.

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