For several years, members of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) of the S.E. Valley have volunteered as reading tutors at San Marcos and Galveston Elementary Schools, Title One schools in Chandler. They have participated in a reading fluency program, providing individual attention to students struggling with reading proficiency. Due to coronavirus, volunteer programs in the schools were canceled for the 2020-2021 school year. Wishing to retain its relationship with the schools and to continue to support student readers, the S.E. Valley AAUW Chapter initiated a project to provide books to the school libraries. Funding was provided by a grant from the state AAUW Chapter and the local chapter.
AAUW members Judi Edmonds and Ellie Watland selected books that highlighted women from around the world who overcame cultural, political, economic, and physical obstacles to successfully achieve their goals. The books given to the schools were designed to promote self-esteem, encourage goal setting, and instill a “think big” and “can do” confidence in young girls when facing challenges. The books included stories about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Malala Yousafzai, Frida Kahlo, Greta Thunberg, Sojourner Truth, Jane Goodall, Anne Frank, Maya Angelou, and several others. Over 20 books were given to each school.
Since 1881, AAUW has been a tax-exempt, non-partisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization under the Internal Revenue Tax Code. AAUW promotes and advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. It offers stimulating programs, leadership development, and educational opportunities, including scholarships. Membership is open to anyone, including men, holding a bachelor’s or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university. For further information, contact Co-President Candace Cox at [email protected].