First Book

First Book, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Albert Shanker Institute won seed funding for a Citizen Power Challenge to support educators in 15 communities across the United States to curate diverse book collections that can spark student-led projects for community change.

Grants support civic engagement projects


Classroom projects such as learning about global cultural perspectives as a way to build compassion, planning a community garden to promote healthy eating, combating bullying, learning American Sign Language, and building a health and wellness library are some of the 15 winning projects in the Citizen Power Challenge. The challenge, funded by the Aspen Institute's Pluribus Project, is sponsored by the AFT, the Albert Shanker Institute and First Book. Educators and others working with students nationwide were invited to identify an issue and a civic engagement project important to their students, school or community, and demonstrate how, with the support of books and resources from First Book, their students could take action to address that issue. More than 920 proposals were received. "A big part of education is encouraging our kids to be engaged and informed citizens, and these projects embrace this goal," says Randi Weingarten, who is president of the AFT and the Albert Shanker Institute. "What I'm most excited about is the lasting effect these projects will have not just on their local communities but also on students' understanding of their rights, responsibilities and power as citizens."


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Students as Agents of Lasting Change: The Citizen Power Project


The Citizen Power Project

Students used resources made available on the First Book Marketplace to think intensively and conduct research about an issue in their community or abroad. The next step would be using what they'd learned to take action and help right wrongs, inspire others, and make their world a better place...


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