Back to:
Current year's news releases

All news releases
News and information home

First Book Eau Claire Awards $500
to Local After School Program

RELEASED: Feb. 8, 2007

First Book logoEAU CLAIRE — First Book Eau Claire, an affiliate of the national First Book organization, recently awarded a $500 Borders gift card to The Clubhouse, a local after school tutoring, mentoring and recreational program. The Eau Claire YMCA, the Wisconsin State Department of Public Instruction, and the Eau Claire City/County Health Department collaborate to offer The Clubhouse program, which is housed in a building annex across from Eau Claire's YMCA.

First Book Eau Claire, which is administered by a college advisory board at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's Center for Service Learning, qualified for the grant from the national First Book program, which in turn received funds from the Borders National Benefit Day promotion, because the group raised $500 or more in matching donations between July 1 and Oct. 31 of last year.

Jane Benzschawel, an AmeriCorps member who works with students at The Clubhouse, said the group is delighted about the award because they have found that the excitement surrounding book ownership translates quite well to excitement about literacy and literature.

"We've been having our students compile lists of books that they would like to own, a book wish list, as though money were not an issue," said Benzschawel.

She explained that the program already operates a program involving book ownership. A stock of donated books is set up like a library, and if a student reads a chapter of a book and then gives a staff member a summary of the chapter, they get to keep the book.

"The First Book award will be instrumental, combined with our existing program, in continuing the love of reading through ownership," Benzschawel said. "With this award, we will be ensuring that all our students receive a book on their wish list, and then we will use the remaining wish list books to teach them about the library system, and the free education available to them, by showing them how to check out the books they wish they could have, and can have, for free."

First Book was recently selected by Fast Company magazine and the Monitor Group to receive the 2007 Social Capitalist Award for the fourth straight year in the category of education and literacy. The awards program honors non-profits, or "social entrepreneurs," who combine creativity and ingenuity with business solutions to address social ills, ranging from poor healthcare in developing nations to unequal education access, homelessness, unemployment and substance abuse in the United States. The winners were featured in Fast Company's Dec./Jan. 2007 cover story and also were recognized at a ceremony in New York City on Jan. 9, 2007.

In addition, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship has honored First Book's president, Kyle Zimmer, as the winner of its 2007 "Outstanding Social Entrepreneur" award.

The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship was started by Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, and his wife, Hilde, in 2000. The Foundation seeks out the world's leading social entrepreneurs, who implement innovative and pragmatic solutions to social problems by tackling the root causes and creating a social transformation. Further information on the social entrepreneurs can be found online.

For more information about First Book Eau Claire, contact Dr. Don Mowry, chair of the First Book Eau Claire advisory board, at 715-836-4649, or e-mail dmowry@uwec.edu.

-30-

NW

Back to:
Current year's news releases

All news releases
News and information home

 

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.