PA Department of Education Secretary Pedro Rivera joined United Way of PA and WITF, on behalf of PA Public Media, at a press event in Harrisburg this week to announce a First Book Grant of $170,000 which will help get 49,000 books into the hands of children from economically disadvantaged communities across the state. Secretary Rivera kicked off the event by reading a Caldecott-award winning book available on the First Book marketplace called “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats.
The event was showcased on Harrisburg ABC 27’s Hometown Heroes segment: https://www.abc27.com/community/hometown-hero/hometown-hero-first-books/
The PA Department of Education issued its own press release about the event. https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Education-Details.aspx?newsid=773
Thirteen Pennsylvania United Ways and seven PA public media partners are the driving force behind getting the books deployed to children in their communities. The books are being distributed by public school teachers, librarians, Head Start, Early childhood development centers, home nursing agencies, family health care clinic, libraries, WIC offices and other community organizations. They are reaching diverse communities, large and small – from Philadelphia, Allentown, Erie, Harrisburg and York to Indiana, Sunbury, Williamsport and Carlisle.
This was a successful partnership by all measures – PA Public media partners and UWP hope to find more opportunities to collaborate in the future on initiatives that align with our shared priorities.