News

Events for 2017

April 14, 2017

Rock out with local drummer, educator, and author Mark Powers and support us as the same time. Mark will be featuring his books, I Want To Be A Drummer! and I Want To Be A Reader! Our hosts, Ford Food and Drink, will be donating 10% of their profits to us, so we encourage you to arrive hungry and thirsty—and definitely bring some kiddos. RSVP to the Facebook event for additional details and to let us know you’ll attend.

July 12, 2017

Breweries for Books returns to Migration Brewing on July 12th, 4 – 8pm. Expect bookish fun for all ages, including a 50/50 raffle and other games, with 10% of proceeds going to First Book Portland. We have been able to include a local children’s author for the past two years and hope to do so again this year. (Right this way for our suggestion box.)

August 9, 2017

The wonderful profit-share at ¿Por Qué No? returns for another year. Both locations—Hawthorne and Mississippi— will be donating 20% of the day’s proceeds to First Book Portland between 11am and 10pm. Please reward them (and your tummy) for their generosity!

October TBD, 2017

The Cause + Event Portland race sells out early, so we’ll let you know as soon as the official date is published.

October 26, 2017

We will be holding our sixth annual Wine-ing for Literacy event at Olympic Mills Commerce Center, a venue which was a real hit in 2016. This wine reception and silent auction is our biggest event, and it gets better every year. (Feel like donating to the silent auction? Get in touch!)

Did Someone Say ‘Free Books’?!

On February 24 and 25, several of our chapter members turned out to support a book giveaway organized by our friends at Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women.

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Pi Beta Phi’s Lake Oswego-Dunthorpe and Portland alumnae clubs collaborated with their national organization and First Book to bring a 20,000 children’s books to Portland. The book give-away on February 25, which was hosted by PNCA, marked the group’s annual Fraternity Day of Service and was one of five similar signature events held around the country. (You read that right: 100,000 books.)

Everyone already registered as part of the First Book network was invited to participate in the event. We saw some familiar faces from Latino Network, Albina Head Start, West Women’s and Children’s Center, MHCC Early Head Start, and Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center.

Other local educators from Title I-eligible schools and leaders of community programs where at least 70% of the students come from low-income families were able to register and attend as well.

After the event was over, something like 3,000 books went home with us for distribution to our recipient groups. We rarely get to handle books directly, since our groups typically select their own titles from the First Book Marketplace, so we jumped at the chance to do a little book distribution ourselves.

We will be able to fulfill a few special requests, such as Albina Head Start’s desire to provide book gifts to 200 kids aging out of their Early Head Start program—a treat for these children and their parents to read together before moving up to Head Start.

This special windfall will also allow us to offer books to groups whose official requests we were unable to fund in 2016. We are never able to meet the full need for our local literacy programs, so every book (and every dollar) extends our reach in very tangible ways.

Huge thanks to our local Pi Beta Phis! They have been wonderful partners for our chapter for several years, and we look forward to many more years of supporting children’s literacy together.

On Air with Portland Radio Project

Earlier this year, First Book Portland was the featured charity for a week on Portland Radio Project’s Community Voices program. We publicized the interviews on social media, but never collected them in one spot here on the blog—luckily, the audio is still available for anyone who missed the original air dates! Check out the full series page, Uniting Children with Books. Thanks, again, to our wonderful representatives:

•  Brianna Barrett, volunteer chapter member extraordinaire
•  Craig Opfer of Magneto Brand Advertising, a community partner
•  Helen Field, Supervisor and Lead Home Visitor for Albina Head Start
•  Jennifer Goebel, Home Visitor for MHCC Early Head Start

Save the Date(s)

June 1, 2016

Once again, the generous folks at ¿Por Qué No? will be donating 20% of the day’s proceeds to First Book Portland—that’s both the Hawthorne and Mississippi locations, all day long (11am – 10pm). Yum.

July 20, 2016

Breweries for Books returns to Migration Brewing on July 20th, 4 – 8pm. Expect bookish fun for all ages, including a 50/50 raffle and a trivia round, with 10% of proceeds going to First Book Portland.

October 2, 2016

When Cause + Event Portland race rolls around next fall and sells out early, at least you can’t say we didn’t warn you! In fact, registration is already open. Half of each runner’s entry fee is donated to a charity of their choice, so anyone is welcome to race (or volunteer) on our behalf. Bonus: if you register by August 12, your name will be included on the t-shirts and race bibs.

October 27, 2016

We will be holding our fifth annual Wine-ing for Literacy event—a wine tasting and silent auction—at Olympic Mills Commerce Center (which you may know better as the home of Olympia Provisions Southeast). Feel like donating to the silent auction? Get in touch!

Spend #GivingTuesday with us—register now!

Skip the rest of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and do your holiday shopping with First Book Portland instead.

Latino Network Photo 4Our Wine-ing for Literacy silent auction is set for this coming Tuesday! It is a great way to join the statewide Oregonians Give campaign for #GivingTuesday, because every penny from ticket sales, the auction, and armchair donations will go to providing new books to local children in need. Check out our list of recipient groups to see who you will be supporting.

The event runs from 6–9pm at the offices of Urban Airship (1413 NW Everett Street in Portland). Advance tickets are $25, and you can use our online form to register right now.

Full details are available on our Events page, but we wanted to take a moment to highlight a few of our generous donors, who are providing items for you to bid on during the event.

P.S. We have been tweeting our thanks to all our donors. If you’re on Twitter, please give them a follow or a like, and feel free to let them know you appreciate their support of children’s literacy.

P.P.S. We were featured on the Big Small Brands blog as a way to advocate for Oregon children during this giving season. It’s so nice to be included in the company of other organizations doing good work for our local kids!

Cause + Event Race Day Coming Up!

Thanks to all the fabulous folks who have signed up for Cause + Event Portland on October 18th, the run is sold out!

If you didn’t get registered in time…

If you’d still like to support this great organization—and, by extension, help the participants who are running and walking for First Book Portland—you might consider registering as a volunteer for Race Day.

If you’re already registered…

Don’t forget the special activities that Cause + Event has organized just for you: Shopping Night at Foot Traffic West on Sunday, October 11th, 3–5pm, and (Lunch and) Dinner Night Out at Bethany Public House on Tuesday, October 13th, 11:30am–9pm. Details about how to participate and RSVP on available on the race homepage. See you at Bethany Village!

If you’re a spectator…

Spectators can watch the race at just about any point along the course, which passes by many wonderful parks and playgrounds to park at and cheer on the runners and walkers. This year’s course winds through the Pirate Park, and the 10K will pass John Marty Park twice.  Make sure to stop by the sign table at the race expo if you don’t bring your own.

We Rocked the Block (Well, Nudged It)

Although we weren’t able to staff a booth this time around, we were so pleased to be able to donate 100 brand new books to this year’s Pathfinders of Oregon Rock the Block festival. (Perhaps with a few more volunteers on our team, we will be able to attend next year.) Congratulations to Pathfinders for a wonderful event!

Rock the Block is an engaging, family-oriented community celebration in Rockwood taking place over two days on May 29th and 30th, 2015. Rock the Block enables neighborhood residents to enjoy safe family fun, eat nutritious food, access and enroll in needed services, and change their environment for the better—all in one space. Rock the Block 2015’s overarching theme is an emphasis on literacy, and our goal is to send kids into summer with a renewed interest in reading and writing. Each child attending will receive books, miscellaneous swag, and access to positive activities.

Read coverage and see photos from the Portland Tribune/Gresham Outlook.

Image courtesy of the Pathfinders of Oregon blog.