Oct. 11, 2013
By Tara Cavanaugh
A recent donation by the Google Ann Arbor offices will put more multicultural books in the media centers at AAPS elementary schools.
The 62 books were suggested by the University of Michigan “Understanding Race Project.”
From February to May this year, the project encouraged the exploration of race by reaching out to college students, K-12 teachers and administrators, and the Ann Arbor community. It included courses, exhibitions, performances, films, lectures and discussions; most events were free and open to the public.
Project facilitators talked with AAPS principals about attending the exhibit and fostering conversations about race and ethnicity. “Many principals took their staffs to the exhibit at the U-M Natural History Museum to encourage conversation,” said Dawn Linden, assistant superintendent for elementary education.
“When we talked to the facilitators about our focus on multicultural and sensitive teaching practices, we realized we needed more books that represent our students and they offered this list (of book titles) to us,” Linden said. “We were very grateful.”
The donated books were purchased as part of an employee service project, said Carrie Garcia, an administrative assistant at Google who leads its community affairs team.
“We enjoy giving back to the community,” Garcia said. “It’s part of our mission as a company.”
Garcia estimates the books totaled $1,500.
Google’s Ann Arbor office encourages its employees to volunteer, and many share time time tutoring within AAPS. The company has also invited AAPS high school students to learn about Google and technology careers on a Career Day event the past two years.
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