Partnership to get books to kids throughout Appalachian Ohio

NELSONVILLE — With the new partnership of the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) and First Book, the nonprofit focused on equal access to quality education, more new, high-quality books and other educational resources will reach children across Appalachian Ohio’s communities. Educators and other individuals serving children in under-resourced communities can register with First Book and FAO to access free and low-cost books, as well as other resources such as basic needs items, school supplies, toys, playground equipment, educator resources, clothing, digital learning tools, and more.

Registration with First Book and FAO is completely free, takes around five minutes, and provides immediate, ongoing access to new books and resources, along with special funding opportunities, including opportunities only open to those in Appalachian Ohio. Registration is open at and anyone touching the lives of children in low-income communities in the region is eligible to sign-up, including those working in schools, early childhood programs, out-of-school time programs, military family support programs, faith-based organizations, shelters and clinics, libraries and museums, and many more organizations.

“FAO has always recognized the power of books to foster the sort of passion for education in our region’s children that can serve as a launching pad for future success,” said Cara Dingus Brook, the President & CEO of the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio. “That’s why we are so excited to launch this first initiative through our Education Pillar of Prosperity, which will allow us to leverage and expand our network of schools, educators, and organizations by partnering with First Book to get high-quality books into the hands of children who need them.”

FAO’s Pillars of Prosperity represent a toolbox of permanent resources designed to support regional initiatives across five core areas essential to quality of life in Appalachian Ohio: Education, Arts & Culture, Community & Economic Development, Environmental Stewardship, and Health & Human Services. FAO’s partnership with First Book represents its first initiative through the Education Pillar, and was made possible through a grant from the American Electric Power Foundation and the AEP Ohio Foundation.

In addition to connecting educators and providers with books and resources, First Book and FAO, a regional community foundation working to create opportunities for Appalachian Ohio’s citizens and communities through philanthropy, will work together to better understand the needs of the region and to meet those needs with new, tailored resources and opportunities through FAO’s Education Pillar.

“Creating regular access to books that kids want to read, and providing resources that bolster their education, is critical to sparking a love for learning that will serve them for the rest of their lives,” said Kyle Zimmer, President, CEO, and Co-founder of First Book. “I grew up in Appalachian Ohio, and it is where I grew to love learning. We are so grateful to the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio for the opportunity to support the educators here, and the kids they serve.”

To learn more about FAO’s partnership with First Book, or to register with FAO and First Book, visit To learn how you can help grow this opportunity and create others like it, visit or contact the Foundation at 740.753.1111.