Help High School Teachers Teach Ayn Rand's Fiction

DianaHsieh's picture
Submitted by DianaHsieh on Sun, 2006-06-18 13:58

A few years ago, the Ayn Rand Institute surveyed high school teachers and discovered that the major reason many don't teach Ayn Rand's fiction in their English classes is the simple lack of books. The bureaucracy makes it difficult to obtain them from the school, and they are expensive to buy out-of-pocket. So ARI started its "Free Books for Teachers" program to remedy that problem.

How does it work? Often with the help of directed donations, the teachers in a given area are notified of the program by a lovely brochure. They can order any number of free copies of Anthem and The Fountainhead from ARI, along with teacher's manuals. In return, all that the teachers must do is agree to actually teach the novels.

So far, the project has been enormously successful: demand for the books has been very strong, teachers are delighted with the enthusiastic response of their students, and many more students are submitting to ARI's essay contests. Most importantly, hundreds of thousands of high school students are reading Ayn Rand in their classes thanks to this program. And soon, those students will be voting -- and shaping our culture and politics.

Last year, Lin Zinser of Front Range Objectivism solicited donations for Colorado. (Minus Denver, since that was already taken.) And because of that, thousands of soon-to-be-voting Colorado students have read Anthem and The Fountainhead. Happily, demand was greater than expected: more Colorado teachers wanted to teach Ayn Rand's fiction than ARI anticipated based upon its general response rate. So this year, Lin is working to raise even more money for the Colorado Books Project. If you choose to donate to the Colorado Books Project, you can get enormous bang for your buck: someone has donated $1000 in matching funds for donations for Colorado greater than those of last year, including any donations from any new donors.

To take advantage of those matching funds, you can write your check directly to ARI. Just be sure to indicate that it's for the "Colorado Books Project." And you'll need to e-mail Lin the amount of your donation in order to take advantage of the matching funds. (Full donation directions can be found toward the bottom of this blog post.) Donations of any size are welcome -- and for areas outside Colorado too. (Matching funds only apply to Colorado, however.) All donations are tax-deductible.

If you are interested in changing the culture in America for the better by introducing young people to Ayn Rand's ideas, ARI's "Free Books for Teachers" is a program that you ought to support. Ayn Rand is her own best salesman -- and the impact of hundreds of thousands of high school students reading Ayn Rand's fiction every year will be enormous. Even if you're still wary of ARI, you can support this program without endorsing all that ARI does.

Please forward this announcement to Objectivists you know unlikely to see it here. Your donations -- and theirs -- could make all the difference in the world.

Don't delay: The time to act is now!


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FINE. FINE!

Michael Allen Yarbrough's picture

FINE. FINE!

You've wrested my generosity from these Scroogean hands. I think I'll dig up a hundred dollars or so. I hope this really takes off (read: I hope more people donate).

Michael Allen Yarbrough

Two-For-One Matching

DianaHsieh's picture

Lin Zinser's latest (and probably last) fundraising letter for the Colorado Books Project:

****

    We are closing in on the goal of $14,000 - which is approximately 1750 books. We are $3,125 from our target -- and you have 4 days to PLEDGE money so that WE can make our goal of providing Anthem or The Fountainhead books to any Colorado teacher willing to teach Ayn Rand in the schools. Our last week's pledge drive did wonders, and this week's offer is even better. I want to thank each of you who have already donated. If you have sent your money to ARI directly, ARI has told me the total amount they received, but not who the donors were or the individual amounts, so if you gave money to ARI, and I haven't personally thanked you, I am thanking you now.

    This week, for four days -- from now until midnight, June 30, two other donors and myself will match all PLEDGES or DONATIONS -- $2 for every $1.00 contributed.*** (Up to a $2,500 maximum). So, if you pledge to donate $10 now, we will contribute $20 more, for a total of $30 contributed. If you pledge to donate $100, we will donate $200 -- for a total of $300 contributed. And if all of you together donate another $2,500, the three of us together will donate another $5,000.

    This year's pledges to contribute money to the Colorado Book Project by December 31, 2006, mean that ARI again send out brochures to Colorado high school teachers, which will result in more teachers requesting more books, thus giving another 1750 students the opportunity this coming spring to read Anthem or The Fountainhead in their high school classrooms. In addition, this year's contributions together with the past year's success (of more than 3600 books sent to teachers, means that more than 5,300 Colorado students could read Ayn Rand during the next school year.

    All of your contributions to this project go to ARI and are tax-deductible as charitable contributions.

    However, most importantly for you, these donations can help better your life here in Colorado by deliberately creating the opportunity for Miss Rand's genius to once again light up the minds of a new generation --- but, with the specific intent to cultivate and develop rational, capitalistic egoists in this state.

    One last time, send your contributions to ARI this week -- OR -- send them to me (Payable to the Ayn Rand Institute) -- OR pledge to me whatever amount you would like to see tripled and sent to ARI for this project. Please -- note on any check or money order that it is for the Colorado Book Project.

    Remember, I need your pledge by Friday, June 30, for the matching contributions.

    And I want to thank each and everyone of you for your support and cooperation in making this idea reality.

    Lin

    Remember, there are now four ways to contribute -- 1) Send a check or money order directly to ARI and indicate on it that this money is for the Colorado Book Project; 2) Send a check or money order to me, payable to ARI; 3) donate stock shares to ARI (contact Kathy Cross at ARI, at 310-876-1633 or kathyc@aynrand.org); or 4) contact me by phone, e-mail or letter with your pledge amount -- to be donated later this year.

    ARI's Address --

    The Ayn Rand Institute
    2121 Alton Parkway, Suite 250
    Irvine, California, 92606-4926

    My address

    8700 Dover Court
    Arvada, CO 80005

    Lin Zinser
    Front Range Objectivism
    www.FrontRangeObjectivism.com
    E-mail: Lin@Zinser.com
    Phone: 303.431.2525

My hearty thanks to anyone who has donated -- or will donate -- to the Colorado Books Project!

-- Diana Hsieh
diana@dianahsieh.com
NoodleFood

Question

Michael Allen Yarbrough's picture

I don't know for sure, Jennifer, but I'll find out sometime soon.

Michael Allen Yarbrough

Thanks Ms. Zeigler

Ashley's picture

My intro to Ayn Rand was in English class - my teacher Sara Zeigler assigned the Fountainhead, at least the beginning. I think we didn't have time for all of it and ended up watching the movie ultimately, but I finished my copy and the rest is history.

Sweet

Lanza Morio's picture

This is a great program.

Jen, there is a local English teacher here in Austin who has the 9th graders reading Anthem. I expect she is independent from ARI and I intend to find out for sure. Several of my guitar students were in her class and liked her and the book. If she needs Ayn Rand books I'll help provide them.

Lin Zinser's Latest Letter

DianaHsieh's picture

Here is Lin Zinser's latest letter about the Colorado Books Project to Front Range Objectivists:

***

    We are closing in on the last 2 weeks of this drive. We need your support. I have received a challenge from 2 supporters -- who will match any contribution over what was made last year -- up to $1,000. So, if you have not given any monies before, then any contribution by you to the Colorado Book project will be matched by them -- up to $1,000.00. If you did make a contribution last year, then any contribution over and above what you made last year will be met by them up to this same limit. This includes pledges. So, if you can't write a check for that amount in the next week, but can do so in the next few months, this counts.

    Make these two people pay, --- make them give 'til it hurts!! (grin) -- and join our group of people donating to make Ayn Rand read by every high school student in Colorado. Remember, these kids will be voting in just 2 to 5 years. These students will be making choices on issues and candidates in a very short while. NOW is the time to provide some positive influence on what they think about and how they think about themselves and the world, including the people around them and the cultural and political issues in this country and abroad. Reading Anthem or The Fountainhead can make a difference in their lives -- after all, it made a difference in yours.

    Many tax-deductible donations don't promise a lot because they are easing the suffering or tragedies that have befallen good people -- like the generosity of those who provided monies to those who were hit by natural disasters -- earthquakes, hurricanes or tsunamis. These tax-deducible donations to ARI are a way to a brighter future for you and me because, through these donations for the ARI Colorado Book Project, more young people will understand what it means to be a self-starter, to be first-handed, to be self-reliant, and will want the government to leave them alone to pursue their own visions and values. The only way to meet the political challenges of the leftist louses and the rigid religious right is to change the culture and the only way to affect that change is by philosophy.

    Please help me change the future of Colorado. Take it from the hands of people like our present governor and legislature, who made smoking in public places illegal, but kept eminent domain legal even though there were five bills and two constitutional amendments considered by the Colorado legislature on that issue. One way to affect this change is to give money to ARI for the Colorado Book project so that future legislators and governors will be forced, in response to their constituents, to forget about smoking and outlaw eminent domain.

    All Contributions to the Ayn Rand Institute are tax-deductible. Thank you for your attention to this request.

    Remember, there are now four ways to contribute -- 1) Send a check or money order directly to ARI and indicate on it that this money is for the Colorado Book Project; 2) Send a check or money order to me, payable to ARI; 3) donate stock shares to ARI (contact Kathy Cross at ARI, at 310-876-1633 or kathyc@aynrand.org); or 4) contact me by phone, e-mail or letter with your pledge amount -- to be donated later this year.

    ARI's Address --

    The Ayn Rand Institute
    2121 Alton Parkway, Suite 250
    Irvine, California, 92606-4926

    My address

    8700 Dover Court
    Arvada, CO 80005

    Lin Zinser
    Front Range Objectivism
    www.FrontRangeObjectivism.com
    E-mail: Lin@Zinser.com
    Phone: 303.431.2525


Please contact her if you have any questions!

-- Diana Hsieh
diana@dianahsieh.com
NoodleFood

Question

Prima Donna's picture

Michael, do you know if your Anthem assignment was independent of ARI's book program? I would be even more encouraged to learn that this happened simply due to a teacher's enthusiasm for Rand, but I'm curious.

Good luck at CAS!


Jennifer


-- Food Philosophy. Sensuality. Sass.

She's refering to her food

Adam Buker's picture

She's refering to her food philosophy podcast on her website. www.gildedfork.com Hope you enjoy it (especially that jazzy intro music, damn now I'm exploiting Smiling )

www.adambuker.com

Why did Joe mention that

Michael Allen Yarbrough's picture

Why did Joe mention that novel and a recent podcast? Are the two related? I'm interested, because gods--that book was so horrifying and destructive....completely opposite to Rand, who I gladly read the following year.

I'm going to the College or Arts and Sciences. quite quite excited.

Michael Allen Yarbrough

EDIT 19 June: I didn't refresh the page, so did not see Jennifer's answer, or Victor Pross's question. To the latter: I have read The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, and most of Capitalism and The Virtue of Selfishness. If the question is also of what composes my reading, then all the best stuff on the internet: SOLO, RoR, essays, articles, books, blogs, news, all of it.

Damn.

Prima Donna's picture

You caught me exploiting again. Of course, the more people who listen to and read my work, the faster those other books can get into the hands of impressionable youth. So you see, I'm doing it all for the children. Eye



Jennifer


-- Food Philosophy. Sensuality. Sass.

Michael,

Victor Pross's picture

You not only seem to have a great sense of life---you also have a ZEST for life. What other books by Rand have you read besides Anthem?

-Victor

Grapes of Wrath

JoeM's picture

Jen, is that a subtle plug for your latest podcast? Eye

A Worthy Cause

Prima Donna's picture

I look forward to the day when I can donate funds toward this, because I would love to see as many young people as possible with these books in their wee hands. Perhaps it would usurp them having to slog through The Grapes of Wrath or some other garbage.

P.S. Michael, which school at NYU? I'm a Stern grad.



Jennifer


-- Food Philosophy. Sensuality. Sass.

Objectivism in High School

Mike_M's picture

If only I had been assigned Anthem or The Fountainhead in high school! I may have actually done well in English. And keep in mind that every class that reads The Fountainhead is a class that doesn't have to read One Hundred Years of Solitude or some other jibba-jabba. Just imagine what the country would be like if every year every graduating high school senior has read Anthem and The Fountainhead...

Awesome

Michael Allen Yarbrough's picture

This is excellent and amazing. I would love to support this program, because my introduction to Ayn Rand was via our assignment to Anthem in my high school freshman English class. Now, I'm a fuller, greater kick-ass capitalist and sense-of-lifer who will attend NYU in the fall to do more great things like this.

So I hope this program does extremely well. We didn't just read the books, but we examined the ideas closely enough to write about them. We refuted collectivism, irrationality, and gave sovereign praise to pride, progress, and achievement. Beginning with that novel has most certainly made a great difference in my life. If anyone wants to see this happen for our youths in schools, support it, get the word out, donate.

Thanks Diana!
Michael Allen Yarbrough

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