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Wipro And First Book To Provide 35,000 New Books To Kids In Need In 5 Cities In U.S. & Canada

Partnership Kicks Off with Reading Celebration, Book Distribution in Jefferson City, Mo.

Wipro Ltd. , a leading global information technology, wipro Logoconsulting and business process services company and First Book, a non-profit social enterprise today announced a partnership to provide new books to tens of thousands of children in need across five cities in the United States and Canada. Together, Wipro and First Book will distribute 35,000 books to educators and program leaders in 2015, serving kids from low-income families in Jefferson City (Missouri), Atlanta, Houston, East Brunswick (New Jersey) and Edmonton, Canada.

First Book, a non-profit social enterprise that provides new books and educational resources to children in need, was chosen by Wipro for its leadership in addressing the unequal access to books in low-income communities. Books will be distributed to schools and programs in five communities where Wipro has a strong presence.

Books are critical to a child’s success, in school and in life. But in homes and schools in low-income communities, books are scarce. In fact, some of the lowest income neighborhoods, have access to only one book for every 300 children.

“The program is designed to help children and young people gain access to excellent reading material, such access is integral to good education. This is especially important for children from disadvantaged families. The program is yet another effort towards our vision to contribute to high quality universal education by working with local communities and educators,” said Anurag Behar, Chief Sustainability Officer, Wipro Limited.

The partnership kicks off in Jefferson City, Missouri in October with a reading celebration and distribution of over 6,000 books to area educators. Over the few months, schools and programs in the Wipro communities of Atlanta, Houston, East Brunswick, N.J. and Edmonton, Canada will also each receive between 6,000 and 7,000 books and educational resources through First Book. Wipro offices across the US and Canada recently completed a fundraising effort to support local schools and programs as part of the annual Spirit of Wipro Run. The funds raised by employees were matched by an equal contribution from Wipro.

“First Book is thrilled to begin a partnership with Wipro to bolster the heroic work of educators and program leaders with vital books and educational resources for the kids they serve,” said Kyle Zimmer, President and CEO of First Book. “We applaud Wipro for sharing the love of reading and a chance for a brighter future with kids in the communities where they operate, and look forward to working with them for years to come.”

Wipro is committed to being an involved participant in its communities and the larger society. Since the beginning of the last decade, Wipro has unveiled several initiatives targeted at helping address issues dogging India’s education system. A key initiative, Wipro’s Applying Thought in Schools aims to improve the quality of school education. Mission10X is another program wherein the company works with college teachers to enhance employability skills of engineering graduates in India.

In March 2013, Wipro launched a fellowship program for teachers in the US to help improve Science & Math Education in Schools. The program is targeted at teachers in schools with significant number of students from disadvantaged families. The focus on improvement in Science & Math Education aligns with the key national priority of the US, of improving STEM Education. Wipro has committed US$ 7.8 million to this program, which is run in partnership with University of Massachusetts, Boston & Michigan State University.

The program involves intense capacity development support to the teachers to develop their capacities as teachers and as change leaders. Other key team members from the relevant school districts are also involved with the program. Between 250 to 350 teachers are expected to participate in this Wipro Fellowship program. Currently the program is being run in Chicago, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey. Wipro intends to expand its school education related social programs over the next few years.

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