Thanks to a partnership with KPMG Families For Literacy (KFFL), we are now giving away more than 10,000 books per year!
If you’ve been following our programs for some time, you know that we commit to giving each of our students the book they study with us. Though we’ve generally given more than one per student, never before have we been able to reach numbers this high. With approximately 2,000 students to whom we distributed these 10,000 books, we’ve been giving an average of five books per student! This way, we’re enhancing not just their classroom experience but their out-of-school hours and even their summers.
KPMG Families For Literacy was founded in 2008 to address a pressing need in low-income communities – books! A lack of books in the home is one reason low-income children can lag behind their peers from more wealthy households. KFFL partnered with First Book, a national organization that offers free or deeply discounted books to schools and literacy nonprofits like Behind the Book.
KFFL also had the important directive to involve not just the staff of KPMG, but their families – spouses, children, and even KPMG “alumni.” This year, the organization is chaired by Debbie Ozanus and Lisa Arnig, who are married to KPMG’s Deputy Chairman/COO and Vice Chair of Market Development, respectively. Their outreach to the extended KPMG family has helped grow the program significantly – KFFL is now active in each of KPMG’s 100+ offices worldwide!
We caught up with Anthony Skoda, our main contact in the New York office and a proud dad to a pre-school-aged son. Early on, professionals from KPMG who were involved with Behind the Book noted our focus on schools in low-income communities. Because KFFL’s efforts focus on distributing as many books as possible to students that really need them, they felt that we were the perfect partner to help. We’re one organization with 16 school partners AND we deeply love books! So of course we agree. According to Anthony, “being able to work directly with so many schools that desperately need books has been really a win – win.”
We are now lucky to count ourselves one of the largest partners of KFFL’s New York office. We bring books to schools, and have invited representatives from all our school partners to visit our office for bookfairs. They love to stop by and pick and choose what they want and – let’s be honest – we love stacking books high all across our conference table and through our shelves! The photos you see here are all teachers and librarians at the book fair here at our the Behind the Book office.
This partnership has been great for us on so many levels, but we’re proud to say the great people of KFFL have walked away with one important new skill. Per Anthony, “We are able to see which books are appealing to the larger student population and which are real hits within the classroom.” We hope that new knowledge makes his and his colleagues’ families love this partnership as much as we do!
Thanks Anthony and Anelise, and Glen and Cristina, and everyone at KFFL for all that you do for NYC’s kids!