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October 11, 2009 (San Diego) -- The San Diego chapter of First Book is reaching out to children from low-income families across San Diego County with little or no access to books through its 2009 book grants. Starting this fall, First Book will be providing over 5,000 brand new books to be distributed to children ages 6 to 10 through the Family Arts & Literacy Connection Program at The Salvation Army Kroc Center, 6845 University Avenue in San Diego.

“We are delighted to be able to put new books into the hands of children who wouldn’t otherwise have access to them,” said Mark Kersey, co-chair of First Book San Diego. “Over the past eight years we have worked to provide new books to San Diego preschools, day care, after-school, and tutoring/mentoring programs that promote literacy among children of low-income families. Since 2001, we have provided over 40,000 new books to San Diego-based organizations including various Head Starts, Rolling Readers, St. Vincent de Paul Village, Eugene Bowman, Reach Out and Read, and The Salvation Army Kroc Center.

“We are thrilled to receive this generous allocation of books from First Book-San Diego,” said Sean Cummings, Program Director at the Kroc Center. “Our Family Arts & Literacy Connection Program gives parents and children the opportunity to learn and create together, and these books from First Book will be an integral part of our Family Literacy Nights at the Kroc Center.”


The San Diego chapter of First Book was established in 2001 and has served the San Diego County community by providing over 40,000 free and low cost new books to various preschools, day care, after-school, and tutoring/mentoring programs that promote literacy in children of low-income families. The San Diego chapter is part of Washington, D.C.-headquartered First Book, 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. First Book has provided more than 50 million new books to children in need in thousands of communities nationwide. To learn more about First Book or to donate, please visit

The Salvation Army Kroc Center is a 12-acre family support, education, recreation, and cultural arts facility. Made possible by a generous gift from philanthropist Mrs. Joan Kroc, the Center provides provides facilities, programs and services that encourage positive life-changing experiences for children and adults, strengthen families, and enrich the lives of seniors. The community center is available to members and the general public. For more information about The Salvation Army Kroc Center, visit

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