Build-A-Bear Foundation has affirmed its commitment to helping children and families achieve their best futures through its mission to add a little more to life by sharing hugs, inspiring creativity, and supporting those in need. As Build-A-Bear enters its 25th year, the Foundation is honored to announce a partnership with First Book, the largest online community of educators serving kids living in poverty, supporting their mission to build a path out of poverty through educational equity. The partnership is part of a renewed focus on childhood literacy efforts, while continuing to deliver teddy bear hugs and financial support to those in need.
To kick off this partnership, Build-A-Bear Foundation has a goal to donate at least 125,000 books through First Book in 2022. Guests can contribute to this effort by adding a donation to their purchase in-store and online as well as with the purchase of a new furry friend, which will be introduced later in 2022.
“We are honored to be working with First Book in support of their critical mission. We are inspired by their commitment to supporting children and building opportunities,” said Voin Todorovic, Build-A-Bear Foundation Board President. “We have a great history of partnership with First Book and are thrilled to renew this friendship to deliver books to children around the country.”
“First Book is pleased to celebrate this milestone anniversary with Build-A-Bear in a way that honors the company’s commitment to children in need across the country,” said Kyle Zimmer, President, CEO and Co-founder of First Book. “For many years, our work together has brought joy and opportunity to so many children in need, and we couldn’t be happier to continue that tradition. We are very grateful for their ongoing support.”
Founded in Washington, D.C., in 1992 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit social enterprise, First Book is a leader in the educational equity field. Over its 29-year history, First Book has distributed more than 200 million books and educational resources, with a retail value of more than $2 billion. First Book believes education offers children in need the best path out of poverty. First Book breaks down barriers to quality education by providing its Network of more than 525,000 registered teachers, librarians, after school program leaders, and others serving children in need with millions of free and affordable new, high-quality books, educational resources, and basic needs items through the award-winning First Book Marketplace nonprofit eCommerce site. The First Book Network comprises the largest and fastest growing community of formal and informal educators serving children in need.
First Book also expands the breadth and depth of the education field through a family of social enterprises, including First Book Research & Insights, its proprietary research initiative, and the First Book Accelerator, which brings best-in-class research-based strategies to the classroom via relevant, usable educator resources. First Book Impact Funds target support to areas of need, such as rural communities or increasing diversity in children’s books.