Sharon concludes her conversation with Kyle Zimmer, the visionary leader behind First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise that is transforming the lives of millions of children through access to high-quality and diverse educational resources. In this episode, Kyle discusses how they’re keeping up with the shift to digital resources and bridging the digital divide to ensure that children in need have access to the tools they need to succeed. They also talk about her passion for diversity, inclusivity, and cultural relevance in education, and how it is making a difference in the lives of children and families. Kyle also shares her advice for entrepreneurs who want to make a difference in the world. She encourages them to fearlessly make bold decisions, to stay true to their vision and values, and to never give up on their dreams.
About Kyle Zimmer: Kyle is the Co-founder, President and CEO of First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise advancing educational equity for children in poverty. First Book has built the nation’s largest and fastest growing online community of adults working in the lives of kids in need – now numbering more than 550,000 – with thousands more joining each month. First Book aggregates the knowledge and influence of these formal/informal educators to create systemic change, and uses market leverage to increase access to culturally relevant books and resources through: First Book Research & Insights, a research arm that gathers data and insights from educators to inform First Book and the broader field; the First Book Marketplace, a non-profit ecommerce site that delivers 15-17 million relevant, affordable and free books/educational resources to kids in need annually (225 million to date); and the First Book Accelerator, which expedites evidence-based strategies from experts on critical topics identified by educators, from mental health to race and culture.
Kyle and First Book have received awards from the Library of Congress, the National Book Foundation, the National Education Association Foundation, the Authors Guild, and many others. Kyle is a Fellow with the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, a program of the World Economic Forum. She serves on the board of directors for Ashoka and Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. An attorney, Kyle received her J.D. from The George Washington University Law School.