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One Million Ayn Rand Novels in Classrooms This Year

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By David Holcberg from The Ayn Rand Institute Stories,cross-posted by MetaBlog

One Million Ayn Rand Novels in Classrooms This Year

February 4, 2008

IRVINE, CA--With a shipment of 80,000 books in January, the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) has placed more than 1 million copies of Ayn Rand's novels in the hands of high school teachers and their students across North America.

This astounding number of books has been provided for free by ARI, over the last six years, to high school teachers in the United States and Canada, as part of its mission to promote Ayn Rand's ideas in today's culture.

According to Marilee Dragsdahl, ARI's education manager, "Since we began this program in 2002, we sent teachers about 600,000 copies of Anthem, 400,000 copies of The Fountainhead and 50,000 copies of Atlas Shrugged. To date, 20,000 teachers have received and are using in their classrooms the Ayn Rand novels we sent them."

Each school year ARI distributes promotional flyers that offer free classroom sets of Ayn Rand's novels to English and language arts teachers, department heads and principals, as well as selected counselors and high school administrators. "This offer," said Mrs. Dragsdahl, "is available to both public and private high schools throughout the United States. Through this program, which I have been running since its inception, we estimate that almost 2 million students have read and studied Ayn Rand's novels."

"Each teacher who requests these books," explained Mrs. Dragsdahl, "receives a classroom set of the novels, along with a teacher's guide, lesson plans and information about ARI's annual Anthem, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged essay contests, which may well be the largest in the United States. We also offer phone and e-mail support to teachers to facilitate their teaching of the books in their classes. The response has been excellent."

Here is what some of the teachers who received free books from ARI and taught them in their classrooms had to say:

 

"Students were excited about the novels. They appreciated having their own copy and not having to share with other students. Overall positive experience for everyone involved. . . . Your providing a complimentary classroom set of books was a great offer, as budget constraints are a real issue in our district." (San Diego, CA)

"Our school could not have been more thrilled to receive all those free texts, and our students are gaining so much from them!" (Esparto, CA)

 

"In an age when we battle a multitude of distractions and apathy, these books have helped ignite a new spark in the classroom."  (Victoria, TX)

"[My students] absolutely LOVED The Fountainhead. Over half of the students who read the novel cite major changes in the way they perceive their roles in their own lives. Many students feel that the novel has a life-changing impact, and several students convince friends in other classes to read the novel, as well.” (Carlsbad, CA)

"Students responded [to Anthem] with thoughtful reflection. They were honors 9th graders, and it was the first time they really had a book that presented them with so much to think about." (Covina, CA)

"I love Anthem and The Fountainhead. I have been recommending them to other teachers and students throughout my 20-year career." (Sierra Vista, AZ)

More information on the Free Books to Teachers program is available at the Ayn Rand Institute's Web site, www.aynrand.org/freebooks.

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That's phenomenal!

Is there a reason why something similar isn't done for college students? From my experience, many High School students don't put enough thought into the books they read, but college students are usually at a stage in their lives where many of them really start thinking for themselves and absorbing information from books. Funny enough (or sad enough) just last night I received a myspace message from a young High School girl in response to a bulletin I wrote that contained Ayn Rand's name.

"have you read anthem by her? its amazingggggg... and the ending was perfect with the word EGO. because seriously that is what brings down society and brings up power."

...

:)

Well, I'm sure it's at least benefiting some students.

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