First Book, General Motors, and Blue Star Families partner to distribute 35,000 STEM books to military families and local educators
National organizations spurring interest in STEM careers among communities historically underrepresented in STEM fields
WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — On November 11, in partnership with Blue Star Families, First Book and General Motors are hosting a Veteran’s Day STEM Book Family Festival to distribute 35,000 diverse STEM books to local Title I educators, military families, and community members. More than 300 guests from the First Book Network, the families they serve, and members of the National Capital and Baltimore chapters of Blue Star Families are gathering at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. for a day of family activities and free STEM book giveaways.
First Book and GM have been partners since 2021 with the collective goal of elevating student exposure to STEM careers through the distribution of diverse STEM books and year-long reading events culminating in the STEM Book Family Festival. Leveraging First Book’s Network of more than 575,000 educators serving children in need nationwide, events like this family festival not only offer communities essential reading materials but help foster an interest in and pursuit of STEM careers for all students.
“First Book is committed to breaking down every barrier that we see limiting the potential of our youngest generations and the lack of high-quality, diverse STEM resources has become a clear challenge to addressing the lack of diversity in STEM fields,” said Kyle Zimmer, President and CEO of First Book. “We are thrilled to collaborate with GM and Blue Star Families to inspire the next generation of STEM innovators through a love of reading.”
More than half of the nation’s students are children of color and yet these communities are vastly underrepresented in STEM careers. With limited access to STEM curriculum and career fields, the inequitable career opportunities for low-income and underserved communities are creating a barrier to education and the workforce.
“Literacy is foundational to the academic and professional success of all students and fostering an interest and pursuit of STEM careers begins with a mastery of reading skills,” said Heidi Magyar, Executive Director of Corporate Giving at General Motors. “Bolstering home libraries with STEM focused books and cultivating a love of reading at an early age is a vital step to increase representation of historically excluded communities in STEM.”
Blue Star Families, the leading network of military families supporting more than 275,000 members across the globe, has been a vital partner in distributing books and supporting the healthy development of children in military families. This event also spotlights these families to bring awareness to the challenges of military families and the programs in place to help empower and stay connected to our neighbors in the armed services.
“Blue Star Books was one of Blue Star Families’ first programs because we understood that harnessing the power of reading high-quality books was an easy and evidence-based way to support military families,” said Kathy Roth-Douquet, CEO and Co-Founder of Blue Star Families. “Reading not only helps families address unique educational challenges which can arise from frequent military moves, but it also gives families an opportunity to spend quality time together, which our research shows strengthens a military family’s resilience. This is why we are grateful and excited to partner with GM and First Book to meet the needs of our youngest learners and families serving our country.”
The event builds on the success of the partnership’s distribution of 35,000 STEM books in Tacoma, Washington with Blue Star Families on Oct. 28th and a virtual celebration of diverse STEM jobs with GM employees as part of a National STEM Day event on Nov. 8th.
About First Book
Education transforms lives. First Book is building a world where every child has access to a quality education. We work to remove barriers to education and level the playing field for kids in need. At the heart of our work are the 575,000 members of the First Book Network, the largest online community of educators and professionals dedicated to children in need across North America. This Network is the key to creating systemic change. Through our research arm, First Book Research & Insights, we conduct studies that aggregate their voices to identify barriers to equitable education and inform strategic solutions. To address their needs, we provide free and low-cost books, resources, and access to leading experts through the First Book Marketplace, which uses aggregated buying power to support this underserved community. Founded in Washington D.C. in 1992 as a nonprofit social enterprise, First Book is dedicated to eliminating barriers to learning and inspiring young minds. Learn more at FirstBook.org and visit our award-winning eCommerce website at FBMarketplace.org.
General Motors (NYSE:GM) is a global company focused on advancing an all-electric future that is inclusive and accessible to all. At the heart of this strategy is the Ultium battery platform, which will power everything from mass-market to high-performance vehicles. General Motors, its subsidiaries and its joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Baojun and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety and security services, can be found at https://www.gm.com.
About Blue Star Families
Blue Star Families (BSF) is the nation’s largest chapter-based military and veteran family support organization. Its research-driven approach builds strong communities with a focus on human centered design and innovative solutions. Since its founding in 2009, BSF has delivered more than $200 million in benefits and impacts more than 1.5 million people each year. For more information, click here.
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SOURCE First Book