Get $125 in Credit to Purchase Brand New Books for Students

Download the free Trauma Toolkit from MSEA and First Book

Baltimore County teacher Heather McNeal’s class with their brand new books from First Book and MSEA.

I believe that books best serve as both windows and mirrors for children, yet my classroom library was lacking important mirrors for my African-American students,” said Heather McNeal, a fifth grade teacher at Halstead Academy in Baltimore County.

“I took advantage of MSEA’s partnership with First Book that provides educators with the opportunity to order 100 new books that include those mirrors my students need,” Heather added, “About 25 of the books are specifically to educate my students about healthy relationships.”

MSEA, First Book, and CASEL — the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning — worked together to launch a social-emotional learning-focused collection of books for middle school students, including free downloadable reading guides.

The partnership provides MSEA members who work in a Title I or Title I-eligible school or program with a members-only code to order already discounted new books and receive them at no cost. There’s also a new Trauma Toolkit for educators to help students deal with adverse childhood experiences.

Members are thrilled: “I teach high school, but used my First Book credit for middle-school level books because my kids are lower-level readers. Thank you so much for doing this for us,” Vivian Crayton Johnson, a special education teacher at Fairmont Heights High School in Prince George’s County, wrote in an email to MSEA.

Montgomery County school counselor Alexandra Ortiz and books she purchased from First Book with her $125 MSEA credit.

To get your free book resources, visit to register, then visit the Marketplace and use the code MSEA125 for $125 in credit for books. Sign up ASAP! Nearly two-thirds of the 500+ codes available for MSEA members have already been redeemed.

Cordelia Forgione, a teacher at MacArthur Middle School in Anne Arundel County wrote MSEA: “I want to express my sincere gratitude for emailing our school about the First Book membership and $125 in free books to help our students explore social and emotional wellness. We are a high-poverty school, and emotional wellness has been a focus for us in the past several years. Our teachers have been ordering their free books to use in classroom libraries, book studies, giveaways and incentives. Everyone is excited about these books and we are so thankful to have this opportunity.”

The Trauma Toolkit

The toolkit answers educators’ questions about how to help students with high adverse childhood experiences. Each question is answered in three short sections: research-based context, key strategies, and a suggested activity to put the strategy into action.

Click on to download the free toolkit.