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AAAS Teams Up With Subaru to Donate Science Books

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Princeton University Press, Beach Lane Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Storey Publishing



The winners of the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prizes are among the books being donated this month to students around the country. | Princeton University Press, Beach Lane Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Storey Publishing

As students prepare to head back to school, more than 40,000 award-winning science books will be donated this month to fill classroom shelves through a AAAS partnership.

As part of the “Subaru Loves Learning” initiative, AAAS and more than 300 participating Subaru retailers are teaming up this August to donate more than 40,000 science books to local schools in need, including more than 1,500 books to schools in Camden, New Jersey, the home of the car company’s future U.S. headquarters.

Supporters of science education can participate for free by signing up to have AAAS and Subaru donate a science book in their name. Participants can also take part at a Subaru retailer by signing a customized label for a donated book, taking a customized thank you note to send to a favorite teacher, or sharing a photo of the in-store “Subaru Loves Learning” display.

The donated books are all winners or finalists of the AAAS/Subaru Science Books & Film (SB&F) Prizes for Excellence in Science Books. The awards have, for the last 10 years, celebrated outstanding writing and illustration that fosters an understanding and appreciation of science in children and young adults. Among the 2016 winners are “The Octopus Scientists: Exploring the Mind of a Mollusk” by Sy Montgomery and “How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction” by Beth Shapiro.

“AAAS and SB&F have a long history of providing expert guidance on books that engage young minds with science. With this partnership with Subaru, we continue to move beyond recognizing the best books — we’re getting them into students’ hands,” said Maria Sosa, a senior project director at AAAS and the editor of the review journal Science Books & Film.

AAAS and Subaru have worked together multiple times to bring science books to schools, though this year’s initiative is the team’s first nationwide effort. During last August’s “Subaru Loves Learning” drive, AAAS partnered with about 125 Subaru retailers in the eastern U.S. to donate more than 17,000 books to local schools.

Two Subaru retailers delivered about 1,000 books to five schools in Washington, D.C., earlier this year to stock library and classroom bookshelves for students from kindergarten through high school.

“We definitely have a need for more science-related texts in both of our libraries,” said Javaris Powell, an assistant principal at the Columbia Heights Educational Campus in Washington, D.C., which serves both middle school and high school students.

When the school’s librarian, Angela Martinez, arrived on campus several years earlier, the library’s collection was lacking, particularly in the sciences, she said. The few volumes they had in the science and technology sections were at least a decade old, “which is really unacceptable for a science book,” she said.

As new science books have joined the collection, Martinez has seen circulation increase. Whether they are tracking down more information about a subject that piqued their interest in biology class or pursuing hobbies like robotics, “students are definitely looking for those new books,” she said.

Donating books to school libraries multiplies their impact. Not only can students check books out on their own from the school’s two libraries or its mobile library, Martinez can send a teacher a full classroom set to accompany a particular lesson.

This year’s initiative also sees Subaru partnering with, a nonprofit organization that helps teachers access classroom supplies not covered by educational funding and address the “resource gap” in classrooms where students do not have adequate supplies needed to learn. Sixty percent of all classroom supplies are purchased by teachers out of their own pockets, according to the organization. As part of this month’s initiative, Subaru retailers will sponsor classroom supply kits for their local schools, benefiting more than 300 teachers and more than 8,000 students.

“We hope that through these programs, Subaru and our retailers nationwide can help provide students and teachers with the tools they need to educate and inspire the next generation,” said Thomas J. Doll, Subaru president and chief operating officer, in a statement.

[Associated image: connel_design/Adobe Stock]