University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

NEWS RELEASE

News Bureau . Schofield Hall 201 . Eau Claire, WI 54702
phone: (715) 836-4741
fax: (715) 836-2900

First Book Program to Distribute
First Books in Eau Claire Schools

 MAILED:  May 6, 2004

EAU CLAIRE — During the next two weeks, the Eau Claire Reading Partner Program will begin distributing new books to approximately 170 children at six Eau Claire elementary schools through a national First Book grant.

Founded in 1992, First Book is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to give children from low-income families participating in community-based mentoring, tutoring and family literacy programs the opportunity to read and own their first new books. The mission of First Book is based on research that shows that access to printed materials is the most critical variable affecting reading acquisition.

Members of the recently established First Book College Advisory Board at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire use materials and eligibility criteria established by First Book to select existing community programs serving at-risk children, such as the Eau Claire Reading Partners Program, and award them with high-quality new books chosen from the thousands offered at substantial discounts by First Book’s publishing partners. Participating children will receive a new book each month for the nine-month school year, and beginning this fall, monthly distributions also are planned for the Truax and Altoona Head Start centers operated by Western Dairyland.

First Book was specifically developed to support and build on the work of local groups, thereby helping to transform the quality of preschool and after-school programs nationwide.

First Book College Advisory Boards raise funds to support the purchase of new books by soliciting donations from individuals, businesses, service organizations and foundations in their communities. These donations are often doubled by matching grants that are available through First Book.

Following is the initial distribution schedule of books (number of children in parentheses):

For more information, or to make a donation to First Book, contact the Eau Claire First Book College Advisory Board co-chairs, Jill Bryan (715) 235-0275, bryanjm@uwec.edu; Danielle Kamba (715) 855-4475, kambadm@uwec.edu; or ECASD Reading Partner Program coordinator Lucianne Boardman (715) 836-5964, boardml@uwec.edu; or visit the Web site.

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 Judy Berthiaume, Director
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 201
(715) 836-4741
newsbur@uwec.edu

Updated: May 6, 2004