As part of a World Economic Forum blog series on Social Entrepreneurs, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship spoke to Kyle Zimmer, President and CEO of First Book, which provides millions of new books to children in low-income situations.
Ensuring an equal education, and letting our children know they matter, regardless of their race or culture, is the most important step we can take. We are too great a country to fail to address something so fundamental to our fellow citizens and our future.
Today, 32.4 million American children go without books -- even as study after study has shown that literacy is crucial to success in school, future earning potential and the ability to contribute to the nation's economy.
So come on all you Bilbo Baggins, Captain Ahabs, Harry Potters, Anne of Green Gables and Katniss Everdeens. I know you are out there and we need you to win this one. Because how this story ends affects us all.
They are part of First Book, a nonprofit network of teachers, librarians, community leaders and program administrators serving kids in need -- a network that stretches across the country and around the world.
September is National Literacy Month and a reminder that as kids across the U.S. settle in for another school year, many are at a critical disadvantage due to low literacy skills or outright illiteracy.
All artists look at their creations -- be they manuscripts, canvases, film canisters, or musical scores -- as their babies, and society does not object. This metaphor is never insulting, nor is it entirely false or original, for that matter.
I ignored my mother's pleas and started a journey into the unknown. I hoped it would inspire people along the way: For each mile we drove in our Daihatsu Terios, we donated a book to an underprivileged child through First Book. 10,000 miles. 10,000 books. That was the goal.
For decades the field has focused on startup phase entrepreneurs. But our focus on startups eliminates two important categories that are critical to the evolution of the field -- and to reaching our broader goals.