Houston, USA, December 21, 2017:
Five hundred brand new books were donated to students at Blackshear Elementary School, Holman Street, Houston, Texas, on December 15 as a result of a partnership between Wipro Limited (NYSE: WIT, BSE: 507685, NSE: WIPRO), a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company, and First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise that has delivered more than 170 million books and educational resources to programs and schools with children in need. The event was made possible with the partnership of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (18th District).
The book donation event involved a reading celebration with employee volunteers and students at Blackshear Elementary School. Wipro previously worked with First Book this year to donate 18,000 new books to the elementary, middle, and high schools in Texas impacted by Hurricane Harvey, as well as 500 books to Clifford M. Dunn Elementary School students in Houston. In 2015, Wipro also donated 6,250 books to students and conducted a reading event at Ashford Elementary School in Houston in 2015.
Congresswoman Jackson Lee, who attended the event and has been deeply involved with public education issues in the Houston area for three decades, said, “What we are learning is, that the brain is like a muscle in that you have to exercise it for it to become very good at something. Reading is helping to make children better learners, but it also helps them develop brains that are not only smarter but better at learning, remerging, and making connections.”
She added, “In honor of the 20 children killed in Sandy Hook and with so many families still struggling from Hurricane Harvey, the donation of these books through an act of kindness and love will help to ensure that the children of the storm will not fall behind on the education ladder.”
“There is no force of nature more powerful than Texans helping Texans, and in that generosity of spirit Hurricane Harvey met its match,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott. “I would like to thank Wipro for their generous donation of books to students in the Houston community and for their support of recovery efforts. Together, we are rebuilding a stronger Texas.”
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. Since 2015, Wipro and First Book have partnered together to distribute over 138,000 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.
“Wipro is privileged to be a part of the community of the Houston area,” said Anurag Behar, Chief Sustainability Officer, Wipro Ltd. “This is part of our ongoing commitment to serve the communities in which our employees live and work.”
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 1.3 million classrooms and programs that are serving children in need in the U.S. alone.
“First Book is excited to help Wipro grow its relationship with the local community in Houston through the power of reading,” said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book.
For more information on Wipro’s ongoing partnership with First Book, please visit https://www.wipro.com/sustainability/.
Earlier this year, Wipro was recognized with the Elevate Texas Award by the Texas Economic Development Corporation for its contribution to Texas’ economy through infrastructure and workforce development. Wipro’s local footprint in Houston includes a development center in Eldridge Parkway, supporting clients in the oil and gas industry.
About First Book
First Book transforms the lives of children in need. Through a sustainable, market-driven model, First Book is creating equal access to quality education — making everything from brand-new, high-quality books and educational resources to sports equipment and snacks affordable to its member network of more than 325,000 educators who exclusively serve kids in need. Since 1992, First Book has distributed more than 170 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families in more than 30 countries. First Book currently reaches an average of 3 million children every year and supports more than one in four of the estimated 1.3 million educators serving children in need. With an additional 1,000 educators joining each week, First Book is the largest and fastest-growing network of educators in the United States exclusively serving kids in need. Eligible educators, librarians, providers, and others serving children in need can sign up at firstbook.org/register. For more information, please visit firstbook.org or follow the latest news on Facebook and Twitter.
About Wipro Limited
Wipro Limited (NYSE: WIT, BSE: 507685, NSE: WIPRO) is a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company. We harness the power of cognitive computing, hyper-automation, robotics, cloud, analytics and emerging technologies to help our clients adapt to the digital world and make them successful. A company recognized globally for its comprehensive portfolio of services, strong commitment to sustainability and good corporate citizenship, we have over 160,000 dedicated employees serving clients across six continents. Together, we discover ideas and connect the dots to build a better and a bold new future.
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