Wednesday, March 11, 2015

FB Book Give Away to Community Partners

Ever hear the old adage “healthy mind, healthy body?”  Literacy and learning, health and physical fitness go hand-in-hand, and no one knows that better than First Book, Sports Basement, and the many organizations that came together to celebrate this on September 27, 2014. Sports Basement opened their doors to hundreds of San Francisco families, who received thousands of dollars worth FREE books from First Book San fas well as fitness-related goodies from our partners at Sports Basement.

Kids from San Francisco RBI, Mission Graduates, Jamestown Community Center, and America Scores were welcomed to the Sports Basement, where their coaches and mentors had assembled an assortment of books ordered just for them, reinforcing the message that reading and playing are treasured activities for every day.

First Book, a national organization whose mission is to get books into the hands and homes of children in underserved communities, is proud to support organizations such as San Francisco RBI (@SanFranciscoRBI), whose participants sent inspiring notes about the books they can now call their own. We've scanned the heart warming notes so that we can share them with you (click to view them full size).

Thank you, Nancy Lee, for sharing the words and thoughts of the children you serve! We couldn’t have said it any better ourselves!
Warmest regards, Lynne Mayes

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Be a Superhero!

Help every child to find their inner


Give them books!
The research is clear – access to books is essential for reading and literacy development.

Thanks to
like you, in 2014, we:

·       Gave over 53,000 books to Bay Area children from low-income families. This brought first time book ownership and the foundation of a home and school library to many children.

·       Increased by 250% the number of local organizations and classrooms to which we provide free books.

Children who read, succeed!

Every child deserves an equal chance
and books of their own. To:
·       Get involved
·       Learn how organizations can register for free books
·       Donate to First Book SF
Visit our blog at:

or to donate by check:

First Book – San Francisco
c/o Jude Deckenbach
368 Connecticut Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

Happy Holidays and best wishes
to you and yours from all of us at
First Book San Francisco!

Our Advisory Board members and affiliations:
Ande Elzie, Retired CCSF Instructor; Tutor, Monroe Elementary
Brian Castagne, Technology/Family Literacy Coord., Project Read, SFPL
Deena Minwalla, Head of Student Satisfaction, AltSchool
Irene Blum, Reading Specialist; Volunteer, Children’s Book Project
Jude Deckenbach, Chair, First Book SF Local Advisory Board
Ken Tray, Political Director, United Educators of San Francisco
Kendra Hyett, Non-Profit Consultant
Luanne Schulte, Speech Pathologist; Literacy Volunteer,
Up on Top After School and Summer Programs
Lynne Maes, Partner, Pulsing Word Consulting
Megumi Smisson, Marketing and Advertising Executive
Stephanie Tang, Coordinator, Screen Actors Guild Foundation
BookPALS – San Francisco

 About First Book
First Book is a national organization utilizing local advisory boards (LABs) to provide new books to children from low-income families.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fall Book Giveaway with Sports Basement and new friends

For our Fall grant cycle this year we decided to choose recipient groups that support literacy but also have a sports angle. Sports Basement (Bryant St. store) was such a fabulous partner for our Books on Wheels event in March - we gave away over 47,000 books in less than 4 hours - that we were thrilled when they agreed again to host our Fall book giveaway.

On Saturday, September 27th, we'll give away 1,200 books to children and families that are enrolled in the following organizations:

San Francisco RBI
Strategically aligned with Major League Baseball, San Francisco RBI achieves their goal of helping students read at or above grade level by working with schools in diverse under-resourced communities and collaborating with a robust network of public and private entities. Together, we implement an innovative data-driven model that integrates reading, baseball, softball, and technology, thereby educating the whole child.

America SCORES
America SCORES Bay Area inspires urban youth to lead healthy lives, be engaged students, and have the confidence and character to make a difference in the world. America SCORES partners with urban schools to provide a high quality, team-based program that integrates soccer, literacy, and service- learning. Our innovative approach improves students’ health, academic achievement, and civic engagement. At community game days participants face a different school team each week and afterwards have the opportunity to take home a book of their choice from our field-side Book Zone. Our aim is to cultivate just as much excitement around reading and writing as there is around the world's favorite sport.

Jamestown Community Center

Jamestown’s mission is to mobilize the resources of families, neighborhood residents, and other community members to help young people realize their full potential as empowered and productive members of society. Jamestown fulfills this mission by annually providing 800 youth, ages 0 to 18, with a full range of educational enrichment, academic tutoring, family literacy, leadership training, employment, sports, and teen guidance programs. Jamestown's Sports Program, which serves nearly 300 youth each year, is a key component of Jamestown's youth development model. The team sports program leverages youths' interest in sports to help them form positive connections with their peers and coaches. For many of Jamestown's young athletes, the relationship with their coach can be one of their most powerful adult connections.

Mission Graduates

Mission Graduates is a nonprofit organization that increases the number of K-12 students in San Francisco's Mission District who are prepared for and complete a college education. While academic support and acceleration are core to the program, the Extended Day Learning Programs combine arts, electives, recreation and academics to create a comprehensive and dynamic learning experience for its children. Strong parent engagement practices are interwoven throughout the program.
The Extended Day Programs also infuse “college messaging” throughout its curriculum to ensure both children and parents alike begin visualizing early for the college experience.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

March Update - What a Lot of Books We Gave Away!

March came in like a lion and continues to roar here at First Book San Francisco.   We kicked off Read Across America month with our first ever Books On Wheels event, sponsored by Sports Basement, UESF and a whole host of other kind folk who donated time, food, banners and cash for us to put on this amazing event.  Thanks to our truckload of books from First Book HQ, we gave away 42, 561 books to around 2000 recipient groups.  We had a great write up in the San Francisco Chronicle too!

Have a look at our album of photos from the event on our Facebook page.  And here are a few choice ones.

The truck arrives!
Ken Tray of UESF pleased with the turnout!
90 volunteers helped to distribute the books
People came from daycare centers, libraries and schools.

Recipients lined up outside Sports Basement on Bryant Street

We continued our partnership with Sports Basement  and Charity Madness. What's that you ask?   Every year the NCAA basketball "March Madness" tournament captivates the nation with underdogs and buzzer beaters. Two years ago, leveraging this excitement, Sports Basement unveiled their "Charity Madness" tournament. Here's how it works: There are 4 divisions with 6-8 charities (or charity groups). Charities then encourage their supporters to mention their charity at Sports Basement's registers. The customer receives a 10% discount and the charity receives a 10% revenue share. The most funds raised wins that week's match up. "Losers" get a nice check for the funds they raised, "Winners" get to keep fundraising for an even bigger check. Everybody wins! Last year participating charities raised $39,142.

And that's not all!  We're also gearing up for Dia de Los Ninos San Francisco on April 6th. We're continuing our commitment to this wonderful day for Children and Books, celebrating reading and the pleasure of reading.

Read on friends, and keep supporting First Book San Francisco!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Books on Wheels - Saturday March 1st, 2014 at 9am

Thanks to First Book HQ, we're giving away 40,000 books FREE to  those who work with underserved communities in the Bay Area.   We've been asked some questions, so here come the answers:

What is it?:  40,000 FREE children's books to be given away

When is it? : Kick off at 9am on Saturday, March 1st

Where?  Sports Basement on Bryant St in San Francisco. Here's a map to help you get there.

Can anyone get free books?  No.  The books will be given to educators, community organisations and anyone who works with children and families where 70% of the population is considered 'low income'.  

Great! How do I sign up?  All recipients must register for the event before you arrive.  You can sign up on the First Book HQ website here:

Who is organising this? First Book San Francisco's Local Advisory Board is working in partnership with FirstBook National, Sports Basement, the American Federation of Teachers and United Educators of San Francisco.

Anything else I need to know? Yes!  Sports Basement is giving all recipients 10% off on purchases that day AND giving First Book San Francisco 10% from all sales - that's a LOT of books for kids who don't have any. 

So don't forget to register so we can contact you to let you know when to come and see you on March 1st.  Happy Reading!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

We're Giving Away Free Books - Register Now

If you work with underserved kids and families who need books in their homes, or your program or school needs to expand its library - we have an event for you.   We are looking for 2300 recipient groups to sign up to receive FREE books on March 1st, when we receive our Books on Wheels from First Book National.

We've teamed up with Sports Basement and First Book  to bring 40,000 brand new books to children in need across San Francisco on March 1st at the Sports Basement store on Bryant Street.  To help make this happen, we first need you to register with First Book here:

Not only will you receive free books, Sports Basement is offering attendees 10% off purchases, plus will give 10% back to First Book on purchases that day.

First Book is an international nonprofit social enterprise dedicated to working with educators, paraprofessionals, and program leaders like you to provide brand new, free and low-cost books to kids from low-income families. Since 1992, First Book has distributed more than 100 million new books to thousands of schools and community programs nationwide that work directly with children in need.  

Signing up with First Book is free, and a great resource for you and the children you serve. The brand new books you can receive for free at this distribution are just the beginning!  You’ll also receive 10% off all purchases from Sports Basement on the day.

Once signed up, you will have ongoing access to free books through the First Book National Book Bank, and low-cost books through the First Book Marketplace. Closer to the book distribution event, you will receive emails with more information about this special initiative in San Francisco. 

To bring the truck of books to San Francisco, we need at least 2,000 area educators to sign up, so share this information with friends and colleagues you know who are serving children in need. Encourage them to sign up – we have books for them too!

Thanks for all the work you do to support the children in your community, and for helping to bring 40,000 new books to the Bay Area’s children!  If you have questions or need assistance, please contact First Book at

Happy Reading!