Science Fiction Youth Program

Keep Science Fictions Heart Beating Strong
...And Help Save the World Through Science Fiction!

Note: We recently launched AboutSF, a project to coordinate SF volunteer efforts by helping provide continuity, organization, and other services that volunteers and enthusiasts need in order to leverage our dispersed efforts into real accomplishments. Check out AboutSF.com for more information. For a list of teaching and scholarly resources, see our links page.

Are you a KU student interested in becoming our newest AboutSF Coordinator or Web Developer? See this page!

Help keep science fiction vital while doing good for young people. How?

  • If you are a teacher, make sure you teach the fiction you love! Check out the resources linked from this page's left navigation pane, and be sure to help develop the AboutSF Lessons Library. We plan to add more teaching curriculum here and at AboutSF, so keep checking back!
  • Teachers, please post your SF-course syllabi and other teaching materials to the AboutSF Lessons Library to help others get young people involved in SF. Many people who work with young folks want to use SF but don't know how to teach it or what to teach. Part of our mission is to provide those teachers and youth workers with the materials they need to teach: curriculum, recommended reading lists, and the literature itself.
  • Teachers, you can also share your experiences via our AboutSF Blog. See what other teachers have to say about their experiences teaching SF.
  • Send young people you know to the new Science News for Kids website.
  • If you currently teach SF, check out the Webs of Wonder program. (The curriculum contest is temporarily suspended.)
  • If you are a member of a fan group, get involved with the Reading for the Future literacy campaign.
  • Read this essay to learn how SF can change the world.
  • Read this essay and do just a few of the things it suggests.
  • Read this essay by the "Killer Bees" (David Brin, Gregory Benford, Greg Bear) to learn how SF can raise literacy.

It is not enough for us to subscribe to SF magazines and buy new SF books: Without the influx of new readers (young people), the genre's readership will continue to age, and genre will lose its vitality, the very essence of what makes SF great. We'll also hear fewer and fewer new voices, authors and critics. If you care about SF, do your part by getting books and magazines SF into libraries and into the hands of young people.

The Center is developing a program to match donors with places that cater to young people, the future generation of science-fiction readers. Through a completely safe and anonymous process, you can sign up to donate or receive books and magazine subscriptions. See AboutSF for details on how to do this.

Nominate the following as a recipient if you would like to see them get books and magazines:

  • A school librarian.
  • A public librarian.
  • A youth center director or volunteer.
  • Your local school library or other youth organization.

In short, nominate an individual or organization that works with kids to receive books and magazines if you see a need. For example, if your library doesn't carry Asimov's, they ought to!

We will list the city and state of institutions requesting donations, as well as the name of the institution, so donors can select where they prefer to give. Alternatively, we will also list individual young people by their general information ONLY, so donors can select to give (for example) an ANALOG subscription to a 14-year-old boy in Iowa.

Sign up as a donor if you are:

  • A science-fiction reader with a heart.
  • A publisher who wants to help build future readers, who needs to clear out old inventory rather than destroy it, or who's looking for a tax break.
  • A writer who wants to give your books to young people to encourage readership not only of SF but also of your work.
  • Someone who cares about the future of our genre.
  • Someone who believes SF readers shape the future, and you want a hand in that.
  • Looking for a way to give to your community.

Spread the word to your local library and school, and post this information where young people can see it. Be sure that your donated books are age-appropriate -- it's a good idea to specify what age groups should get which books.

In the mean time, go out and do it yourself! Donate books and magazine subscriptions to schools, libraries, public facilities that cater to young people, and so on. You can make a difference!

Coming soon: Science Fiction Summer Camp, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Science Fiction, among others....

Watch this space for more information and teaching resources!



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