Dec 20, 2013 - News

23andMe’s Science Book For Kids

In the New Year, 23andMe will give out a gift for kids and promote literacy at the same time. We deliver 500 copies of our illustrated board book You Share Genes With Me toyou-share-genes-with-me

Books for Kids

Books for Kids is a non-profit organization based in New York City. Its mission is to promote literacy among children. They focus a lot on low-income and at-risk preschool-aged children. Books for Kids creates libraries, donates books, and implements literacy programs to develop the critical early foundation and skills young children need to succeed. The organization focuses, in particular, on low-income preschool-aged children who live in homes where there are fewer than five books. The foundation wants to ensure those families have books to engage, entertain, and educate children.

The organization focuses, in particular, on low-income preschool-aged children who live in homes with fewer than five books. The foundation wants to ensure that those families have books that can engage, entertain, and educate children.

You Share Genes with Me

23andMe wants that, too, and the foundation’s commitment aligns with our broader education mission.

“It’s always been our mission to improve genetic literacy for everyone regardless of age,” said Esther Kim, Pharm. D., who heads up 23andMe’s education efforts.

In addition to the gift to Books for Kids, 23andMe also offers free books to the first 500 elementary school teachers who register. Each teacher will get two copies of the book for their classrooms. We hope the book will help bring a greater diversity of learning levels into our academic program, which has historically focused more on high school, undergrad, and medical school programs.

A look inside the book You Share Genes With Me.

“We are excited to reach out to communities we typically don’t have access to through our normal distribution channels,” said Esther. “ We hope this book can plant in children’s minds a seed of curiosity for genetics and science and help them to realize how genes connect us to all living things.”

Genetics 101

We’ve done that with our Genetics 101 series, our work with several educational institutions, and our partnership with Udacity to produce an online genetics class. We were also involved in helping put together a genetics exhibit with the Smithsonian earlier this year. The children’s book, a sweet picture book showing kids how much DNA they share with other living things, came together, partly from all that work.

The book, illustrated by Arianna Killoran, offers a whimsical look at genetics. It’s meant to provide kids with an introduction to science by emphasizing how much DNA we share with other species and each other. Humans are about 99.5 percent similar genetically, but that little difference makes us all unique. The book discusses how humans share DNA with other species, like zebrafish, mice, and chimpanzees. While the book is not currently available for sale online, it can be purchased at the gift shops of the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., and at The Exploratorium in San Francisco.

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