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Partnership closes out the 2019 celebration of AIA’s centennial year with aerospace-themed book donations in time for winter break

Arlington, Va. — The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), the voice of the American aerospace and defense industry, and First Book, the nonprofit social enterprise committed to equal access to quality education, today announced a partnership to distribute over 25,000 new, high-quality science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) books to elementary schools in communities across the country. The partnership commemorates AIA’s 100-year anniversary with a distribution of 200 individually curated collections of 100 books highlighting the stories of aviators, scientists, and space explorers to 200 educators in 10 cities the week of December 16-20, AIA’s designated #MyPlaceinSpace Week.

“A child’s zip code shouldn’t determine the brightness of their future or the size of their dreams,” said Eric Fanning, president and CEO of AIA. “AIA’s partnership with First Book will empower young learners to unlock a world—and universe—of possibility with the turn of every page. We will help them reach beyond the stars to become the scientists, engineers, and astronauts of tomorrow.”

AIA’s #MyPlaceinSpace Week will feature events at schools in San Diego, California; Denver, Colorado; District of Columbia; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Orlando, Florida; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Houston, Texas; and Seattle, Washington. The partnership will expand its focus on growing STEM libraries at schools in more than 25 low-income communities through 2021.

“We afford kids in need so few opportunities, and we compromise their potential, when we limit their world views,” said Kyle Zimmer, president, CEO, and co-founder of First Book. “Illuminating STEM subjects benefits all of us—it shows kids what’s possible, it inspires a love of reading, and ignites ideas that could show us the way to what’s next. We are so grateful that the Aerospace Industries Association is focusing on bringing STEM books to kids who may not have had access to them otherwise. We can’t wait to watch kids discover the universe.” 

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About AIA

Serving as the voice of American aerospace and defense since 1919, the Aerospace Industries Association represents manufacturers and suppliers across every high-technology manufacturing sector, providing strong advocacy essential to ensuring the current and future success of our nation and our industry. AIA’s work as an advocate and convener is essential to shaping policy, shedding light on the industry’s impact, and empowering its future. In partnership with the National Association of Rocketry and more than 20 industry partners, AIA sponsors the American Rocketry Challenge, the world’s largest student rocket contest.

About First Book

Founded in Washington, D.C., in 1992 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit social enterprise, First Book is a leader in the educational equity field. Over its 27-year history, First Book has distributed more than 185 million books and educational resources, with a value of more than $1.5 billion. First Book believes education offers children in need the best path out of poverty. First Book breaks down barriers to quality education by providing its network of more than 450,000 registered teachers, librarians, after school program leaders, and others serving children in need with millions of free and affordable new, high-quality books, educational resources, and basic needs items through the award-winning First Book Marketplace nonprofit eCommerce site. The First Book Network comprises the largest and fastest-growing community of formal and informal educators serving children in need.

First Book also expands the breadth and depth of the education field through a family of social enterprises, including First Book Research & Insights, its proprietary research initiative, and the First Book Accelerator, which brings best-in-class research to the classroom via relevant, usable educator resources. First Book Impact Funds target support to areas of particular need, such as rural communities or increasing diversity in children’s books.

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