Starting this school year, every public school in Illinois is mandated to include a unit of study on Asian American history, becoming the first state with that requirement. In light of that, Chinese American Women in Action (CAWA), donated a combined total of 555 books centered around that subject to Naperville School District 203 and Indian Prairie School District 204.
Books Highlighting Asian American History
Every school in those districts received a gift bag of books that describe the history and contributions of Asian Americans.
“Asian Americans have been a part of our country’s history for 150 years, but there’s still misperception that Asian Americans are foreigners,” said President of CAWA Nancy Chen.
The books were presented on Monday at an event at Anderson’s Bookshop. District 203 Superintendent Dan Bridges, IPSD 204 Superintendent Dr. Adrian Talley, members of both school boards, and students from Naperville North High School were among those in attendance. Speaking to the crowd, Chen noted the significance of adding this course of study into the public school system.
“Every Asian American student probably has had the experience of being told ‘go back to your own country,’” said Chen. “So we hope that this teaching American Asian history is going to dispel the stereotype and improve cross-cultural understanding for all students.”
Helping In Book Selection
Besides hosting the event, Anderson’s also helped in the selection of books.
“We just started creating ideas and so it was easy, you know,” said Anderson’s Bookstore CEO Becky Anderson. “I think that’s where we get a lot of joy in the book business, is where we can make those synergies and all those really fun events and activities that can get people really engaged and reading books, but this one was made for.”
In total, CAWA raised $5,605 for the book drive. Anderson’s raised an additional $1,398.
“This is what CAWA is about, this is our mission. Getting our community to be more engaged in civic activities,” said Chen.
Naperville News 17’s Joe Kennedy reports.
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