Book First Provides Over 12,000 Students with Free Books

Partnership with Friends of Sacramento Public Library increases access to books
June 15, 2022

"For many of my students, the Book First books are the only books they have at home. One of my students this year cried because she got to have two books of her own. Some students have books at home but these books are always special because they are theirs and do not belong to an older or younger sibling."

With support from Friends of the Sacramento Public Library, the Library provided 12,968 local first grade students with 25,936 books through the annual Book First program. Library staff and Friends volunteers visited 553 classrooms in the highest need schools throughout the County via Zoom and in-person to encourage students to keep reading and to utilize the library’s resources.

“The Book First program helps sparks the joy of reading. One book is the first step to building a home library, providing children with access to books they love, helping them become confident and enthusiastic readers and fueling their potential,” said Youth Services Manager Christie Hamm.

Since 2016, we’ve provided books to nearly 100,000 kids in our region. The Book First philosophy continues beyond the school year through the library’s extensive collection of beginning reader books and our annual Summer Reading Challenge that helps to strengthen reading skills.

"My students were so excited to receive these books. Many of my students do not have books at home to call their own and so they were very excited that they got to keep them forever! My students who received books in Spanish were incredibly excited because they felt like it was something just for them. My students still talk about it weeks later and I have a feeling they will forever remember this."

Thank you to the Friends of Sacramento Public Library for making this program possible. This year, the Friends raised over $100,000 on the Big Day of Giving, which will make sure Book First and Summer Reading are supported moving forward.