WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 21, 2004) – First Book, a national children’s literacy organization, McDermott Will & Emery, a leading international law firm with offices in 15 cities globally, and its foundation, have joined forces with Random House Children’s Books, the world’s largest English-language children’s trade book publisher, to distribute more than 500,000 books to children from low-income families. Children in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and across the nation will benefit from a donation by McDermott, which makes the book distribution possible. The distribution will begin today, and continue throughout the weekend. In celebration of Make A Difference Day, volunteers from First Book Local Advisory Boards, McDermott Will & Emery, USA WEEKEND and AmeriCorps will participate in 20 reading parties for children across the metropolitan region and package and ship or deliver the Random House books to literacy programs in the region as well as more than 100 cities nationwide. Oscar-nominated actress and First Book National Book Bank spokesperson, Joan Allen, will host the first reading party today at 11:00 a.m. at the law offices of McDermott Will & Emery, 600 Thirteenth Street, NW, to kick off the weekend’s events.
Make A Difference Day is on Saturday, October 23. It is the largest day of volunteering in the country, created by USA WEEKEND Magazine in partnership with the Points of Light Foundation.
“We are proud to support First Book and Make A Difference Day,” said Harvey W. Freishtat, Chairman of McDermott Will & Emery. “McDermott has a long-standing tradition of community involvement on issues that matter. We recognize the significance of providing children from low-income families the opportunity to own and read their first books. Through the book reading parties and the distribution of new books over the next several days, we will be helping to instill a love of reading for children in need. This worthwhile endeavor builds on our existing Kids First and tutoring programs.”
“This is truly what ‘Make A Difference Day’ is all about,” said Kyle Zimmer, President of First Book. “We have a great group of volunteers from the public and private sectors coming together to make a meaningful difference in the life of a child. These volunteers will go out into the community, and spread the magic of reading to children who otherwise might not have that opportunity. We’re very excited to launch a partnership with McDermott Will & Emery and to deepen our relationship with Random House Children’s Books.”
“Our valued relationship with First Book enables us to give communities all across America the tools for literacy,” said Chip Gibson, President of Random House Children’s Books. “We are especially pleased that our books will be used to ‘Make a Difference’ in the lives of so many children in need.”