Educators offer input on needed resources at regional town halls


First Book, FAO host town halls to shape future resources and initiatives

Staff Report



OHIO VALLEY — Educators and others working with children across Appalachian Ohio recently gathered for two town hall events in Pomeroy and Cambridge, hosted by the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) and its partner — the nonprofit, social enterprise First Book. The town halls provided an opportunity for local educators and service providers to offer their input on educational resources needed in their work with children, which will help shape the work of the two nonprofits.

“We so appreciate all the educators who took time out of their busy schedules to join us in shaping future educational resources for Appalachian Ohio,” said Bonnie Beste, partner development manager at First Book. “We really learned so much – from successes in educators’ work that can be leveraged to develop best practices for supporting children and families, to the key challenges facing educators in their communities, especially barriers to educating and supporting children.”

Through the town halls, First Book and FAO intend to shape future opportunities to learn from educators and ultimately develop educational resources tailored to the particular needs of Appalachian Ohio’s educators and communities. This could include the development of new children’s books, educational tool kits, and other resources for teachers and all those working with children. FAO also shared that what the nonprofits learn from the town halls will inform future initiatives through its education programming.

“Our partnership with First Book has sought to connect teachers and all those working with children with the books, basic needs items, and educational resources that we know make such a big difference in inspiring learning,” said Megan Wanczyk, vice president of communications and programs at FAO. “We are so grateful to all of the educators and service providers who joined us. What they shared and what we learned will continue to shape the next steps in our work to support educators and the children they serve.”

To access free and low-cost books and other resources through the partnership between FAO and First Book, educators working with children from low-income communities may register with both organizations at www.FirstBook.org/FAO.

By completing this quick registration with First Book and FAO, educators will also stay up to date with any future opportunities available through First Book and FAO, including funding for purchases from the First Book Marketplace and Book Bank and information on resources developed as a result of the town halls and ongoing focus groups.

To learn how you can support FAO’s partnership with First Book and future initiatives shaped in response to educator feedback, visit www.AppalachianOhio.org or contact FAO at 740.753.1111. Gifts to FAO’s I’m a Child of Appalachia Fund, which supports FAO’s partnership with First Book as well as other bright spot initiatives, are currently eligible for a dollar-for-dollar match opportunity.

Information provided by the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio.

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First Book, FAO host town halls to shape future resources and initiatives

Staff Report