More than 2,300 books and 500 backpacks were donated to Indianapolis area kids in need on Feb 22, as a result of a partnership between Appirio’s parent company 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.
Employee volunteers from Indianapolis-based Appirio packed 500 backpacks with three books each to donate to students at Brookside School 54. The engagement also included a reading celebration with students, teachers, employee volunteers in reading circles, and local officials, as well as an additional donation of 800+ books.
“It is an honor to work with my colleagues and First Book to help local students enjoy the power of reading,” said Chris Barbin, CEO and co-founder of Appirio. “The partnership is part of our ongoing commitment to engage and serve the Indianapolis community in a way that improves the educational opportunities for our local community and future workforce.”
As part of this initiative, in June 2017, five thousand books were donated to Indianapolis area schools and programs within the registered First Book network, including Literacy Night at the Wayne County Historical Museum, Snacks Crossing Elementary School, Barrington Health Center and Christel House Academy West.
Since 2015, Wipro and First Book have partnered together to distribute over 138,000 books across the globe, with a commitment to deliver over 200,000 books to children in need by the end of 2019. Wipro became active in the Indianapolis community through Appirio joining the Wipro family. Appirio is an Indianapolis-based global cloud services company that helps customers create next-generation worker and customer experiences using the latest cloud technologies.
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.
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.
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.
For more information on Wipro’s ongoing partnership with First Book, please visit https://www.wipro.com/sustainability/.
 Susan Neuman, July 2016