Indianapolis, United States
Five thousand books are being donated to students in the Indianapolis area through the end of June as the result of a partnership between Wipro Limited, a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company, First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise that has delivered more than 160 million books and educational resources to programs and schools with children in need.
The books will be distributed to registered First Book members in the Indianapolis area, providing additional education resources in the community where Wipro employees live and work. The books will be used to stock classroom libraries, facilitate reading circles and help students build their home libraries.
Launched in 1998, the First Book National Book Bank is the first and only centralized distribution system for large-scale children’s book donations from publishers to schools and programs serving kids in need. The National Book Bank distributes 10 million books annually, and with Wipro’s support, 19,000 of these books will be donated to schools and programs in Indiana, Boston, East Palo Alto and Atlanta.
Wipro’s presence in Indianapolis has been expanded through its 2016 acquisition of Appirio, an Indianapolis-based global cloud services company that helps customers create next-generation worker and customer experiences using the latest cloud technologies. Wipro’s acquisition of Appirio created one of the world’s largest cloud transformation practices, a game changer in today’s as-a-service and digital economy. Since the founding of the Indianapolis office in 2012, the company’s headcount has grown in Indiana and globally.
“Wipro has a growing presence in the Indianapolis community and is excited to further engage with the community through its contribution to the critical importance of access to books,” said Anurag Behar, Chief Sustainability Officer, Wipro Ltd. “Our goal is to support reading-focused efforts in Indianapolis to help students continue learning throughout the critical summer months.”
Since 2015, Wipro and First Book have partnered together to distribute over 118,000 books throughout the U.S. and Canada, with a goal of distributing over 200,000 books to children in need, as part of their three-year partnership.
A simple bag of books can help beat Summer Slide. In fact, research shows that children who are given access to books over the summer perform 35-40 percent better on reading achievement tests than those without access to books. Book ownership and a print-rich environment are leading indicators of a child’s educational success, but for the 32 million children growing up in low-income families in the U.S. alone, books are scarce. A recent study found that in one low-income neighborhood, there was only one book for more than 800 children, whereas in moderate-income neighborhoods, there are 13 books for every one child.
First Book, which has operations in both the U.S. and Canada, works with formal and informal educators serving children in need aged between 0-18 years in a wide range of settings – from schools, classrooms, summer school and parks and recreational programs, to health clinics, homeless shelters, faith-based programs, libraries, museums, summer food sites and more. The organization supports more than one in four of the estimated more than 1.3 million classrooms and programs that are serving children in need in the U.S. alone.
“Wipro and its employees in Indianapolis and across the country continue to help advance First Book’s mission to spread the transformative power of books into the communities where they work and live,” said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book. “Thanks to the dedication and support of Wipro’s employees, tens of thousands of children will be able to fuel learning and unlock their futures. We are enormously grateful.”