First Book, which provides new books to children in need, has announced the launch of its OMG (Offering More Great) Books initiative. The nonprofit will spend $500,000 on books featuring minorities, characters of color, and others whose experiences will resonate with the children the organization serves. Publishers have until Wednesday, February 6 at 5 p.m. ET, to submit purchase order proposals. According to the Children’s Book Council, First Book is also looking for ideas on how to spread the word about the initiative to Title 1 classrooms, after-school programs, homeless shelters, and other schools and programs for vulnerable children – and how to offer e-books at discounted prices exclusively to this market segment.
“We’re going to do what it takes to help educators across the country turn their kids into strong, successful readers,” said First Book president and CEO Kyle Zimmer. “These kids need new books with characters and stories that are relevant to their lives. We look forward to working with our partners in the publishing industry to reach more children, more powerfully.”
The hundreds of thousands of books purchased through the OMG Books program will be available on the First Book Marketplace. Last year, First Book purchased three million new books from major publishers, which it made available at significant discounts to 50,000 schools and programs.