Publisher donates books in honor of late Rep. Patsy Mink

Scheduled to arrive in time for Christmas will be new books which, for some children on Kaua’i, may be the first books they’ll be able to call their own.

And they can thank the late U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink (D, Neighbor Islands, rural O’ahu), as well as many other people, for the donations.

Mink, a tireless champion for social and economic justice, women’s rights, education and child care, passed away in late September, just after securing the Democratic primary race for her re-election.

As a tribute to Mink, the First Book National Book Bank and First Book-Oahu are donating 50,000 books to children in need in Hawai’i.

The books are being donated by book publisher Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, to the First Book National Book Bank, and will be distributed with assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard statewide in early December.

Mink was an honorary member of First Book-Oahu, and gave tremendous support to the efforts of local volunteers who work to place new books in the hands of children from low-income families in Hawai’i, according to Carolyn Fujioka, spokeswoman for First Book-Oahu.

First Book is a national nonprofit organization that provides children from low-income families the chance to read and own their first new books.

A major component of First Book’s work is accomplished through the First Book National Book Bank, a centralized donation and distribution agent that enables publishers to donate books and related products to established, community-based programs.

First Book is the only national literacy organization to develop a unique supply pipeline designed to reach children in need through existing tutoring, mentoring, and family literacy programs.

Books are delivered through this pipeline via a nationwide network of First Book Local Advisory Boards and the First Book National Book Bank.

“We genuinely appreciated all of Patsy Mink’s support of First Book, and we are grateful to be able to honor her memory with this book distribution,” said Fujioka, chair of the Local Advisory Board for First Book-Oahu.

First Book-Oahu has given brand new books to thousands of children through programs such as the Honolulu Community Action Head Start, Read Aloud America, Hawaii Literacy, Inc., and Child & Family Service/Healthy Start Central.

“Patsy Mink was dedicated to education, and made a lasting difference in the lives of the children who needed her help,” said Kyle Zimmer, president of First Book.

“We are grateful for the time and energy she spent with First Book.”

First Book is a national nonprofit organization with a single mission: to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books.

In neighborhoods across the country, First Book unites leaders from all sectors to provide books to children in literacy programs, housing-project initiatives, after-school programs, and other community-based efforts reaching children living below the poverty line.

The First Book National Book Bank, a subsidiary program of First Book, is the first centralized system enabling publishers to donate large quantities of new books and educational materials online to reach millions of children in need.

Last year, First Book distributed around seven million books to children in more than 700 communities across the country. For more information about First Book, and to receive information about future distributions, please visit www.firstbook.org.

Simon & Schuster, part of the entertainment operation of Viacom Inc., is global in the field of general-interest publishing, across all printed, electronic and multi-media formats.

Its divisions include adult, children’s and new media publishing, with online operations as well as offices in the United Kingdom and Australia. For more information, please visit www.simonsays.com.

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