Thursday, July 29th, 2021

UW of Huntington County awarded $3,264.31

Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019

United Way of Huntington County has been selected from among over 100 applications to receive an award of $3,264.31 for new books and eBooks that will expand the organization’s mission. First Book, the nonprofit social enterprise focused on equal access to quality education for children in need, awarded the funds as part of its OMG Books Awards: Offering More Great Books to Spark Innovation, a program that will give more than $4.7 million in funding to distribute 1.5 million brand new books and eBooks to children living in low-income communities in 33 U.S. states and territories.

United Way of Huntington County will use the award to funnel books into programs that work with low-income children in Huntington County, including Roanoke Elementary School, Andrews Elementary School, Place of Grace, Boys & Girls Club of Huntington County, St. Peter’s First Community Church Homework Help and Youth Services Bureau of Huntington County.

“With this award, we will be able to bring new, high-quality, contemporary books to the kids we serve,” said Kyle Metzger, president & CEO of United Way of Huntington County. “This will make a tangible difference as we work to spark a love of reading and enable the book access which is essential to learning.”

Awardees are using the funding to select books and eBooks from the First Book Marketplace (, First Book’s award-winning ecommerce platform that best meets the needs of the children they serve. Indiana was among nine states in the first cycle of awards. Additional awards will be granted throughout 2019. First Book estimates the total value of the books distributed will be more than $12 million.

“We know that access to books and eBooks makes a significant difference in a child’s future success,” said Kyle Zimmer, First Book president, CEO, and cofounder. “Children do not thrive in deeply under-resourced environments and too many of the schools and programs have far too little. This deprivation has long-term consequences for the children, their families, their communities and our nation. This could not be more urgent. With the OMG Books Awards, First Book and United Way of Huntington County are investing not only in the future of the kids we’re reaching, but in the overall well-being of our nation.”

Access to adequate resources is one of the greatest contributors to educational success in the United States. Research indicates that just the presence of books in the home improves educational outcomes, yet low-income communities across the U.S. are plagued by vast ‘book deserts’ – with one community having only a single book per as many as 830 children. Additionally, members of the First Book Network, who exclusively serve kids in need, have indicated that without First Book, the children they serve would have access to very few books, if any at all.

Eligible educators, librarians, providers and others serving children in need can sign up to receive resources from First Book outside of OMG Books Awards at For more information, please visit or follow the latest news on Facebook and Twitter.