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Literacy advocate Kyle Zimmer to receive honorary National Book Award

NEW YORK, N.Y. - A leading advocate for literacy, First Book co-founder and CEO Kyle Zimmer, is receiving an honorary National Book Award.

The National Book Foundation, which presents the awards, announced Wednesday that Zimmer had won the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community. Previous winners include Maya Angelou and Dave Eggers.

Through First Book, established in 1992, Zimmer has helped distribute millions of books to children in low-income families. A former corporate attorney, Zimmer was inspired to start First Book by her work as a volunteer in a Washington, D.C. soup kitchen, when she discovered that the children she met owned nothing to read. Zimmer and First Book now work with a nationwide network of tens of thousands of schools and other facilities.

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