March 2, 2012
Beamer and First Book join forces to bring new books to Virginia kids
Tech's head football coach announces $50,000 gift during local book reading

ROANOKE, Va. (March 2) – Herma’s Readers, the Virginia literacy foundation founded by Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer, and First Book, the national nonprofit that provides new books to kids in need, announced a new partnership on Friday that will provide 32,000 new books to kids from low-income families across Virginia.

While reading at Roanoke’s Cave Spring Elementary School on Friday’s Read Across America Day, Beamer announced that he has donated an additional $50,000 to reading programs across the state.

“The research is there, and it’s clear,” Beamer said. “If we get students passionate about reading at a young age, it benefits everyone. Research shows that children who are actively reading by the third grade are more likely to be on the right track to graduate.”

Beamer founded Herma’s Readers in 2008 to promote reading. The foundation was named in honor of his mother, Herma Beamer, a lifelong educator with Virginia public schools.

“We’re thrilled to work with Coach Beamer to get more new books into the hands of Virginia kids,” said Kyle Zimmer, president of First Book. “Teachers like Herma Beamer spend their lives doing everything they can to make a difference in the lives of kids, and our mission is to get them the books and resources they need to do their jobs.”

First Book is connected to a national network of 27,000 schools and local programs working with children from low-income families – 950 of them in Virginia. First Book works closely with almost every major publisher to ensure that these schools and programs have an ongoing supply of new books for the children they serve.

To date, Herma’s Readers has donated over $80,000 to First Book, providing 32,000 new books.

About Herma’s Readers
In 2008, college football’s winningest active coach, Frank Beamer, founded a literacy foundation that promotes reading to youngsters in their formative years. Named for his mother, a teacher for more than 25 years, Herma’s Readers has delivered over 21,000 new and used books collected at Virginia Tech football games to youngsters throughout the Commonwealth. Currently, Coach Beamer’s program has also dispersed more than $80,000 for new book purchases for children. That is a total of more than 53,000 new and used books. You can find Herma’s Readers online here (

About First Book
First Book has distributed more than 90 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada. By making new, high-quality books available on an ongoing basis, First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education. For more information, please visit us online or follow our latest news on Facebook and Twitter.

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