updated 8/29/2007 2:21:52 PM ET 2007-08-29T18:21:52

Random House, Inc., has announced that it will donate $1 million to First Book, a nonprofit organization that has given millions of books to needy children since its founding in 1992.

“As publishing professionals who spend our days surrounded by and immersed in books, it is difficult to imagine a world without them,” Random House chairman Peter Olson said in a statement released Monday.

“But this is a disturbing reality for millions of children in our country who do not have any books at all in their homes or schools or daycare centers. We know that one of the leading imperatives in raising the national literacy rate is to ensure that children have access to books.”

First Book President Kyle Zimmer, in a statement issued by Random House, praised the publisher as an “amazing supporter of First Book’s mission” with a long history of contributions. Random House said that over the years it has donated more than 13 million copies of its own books.

“First Book’s goal is not just to fight illiteracy but to end it, and this expansion of our partnership brings us closer than ever to that goal,” Zimmer said.

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