In one of our latest chapbooks, Spinach Doughnut, written by students in our Detroit After-School Tutoring program, there’s a very excellent story called “The Astronaut Who Loves Tacos.” Written by Alexis G, age 12, the story begins, “One afternoon an astronaut was in a rocket reading a book while he was coming back to Earth.” What follows is a tale of romance and food we won’t spoil here–stop in the Detroit Robot Factory or the Liberty Robot Supply & Repair and buy a copy.
We can, however, tell you one of the secret heroes who made this story possible: General Motors! Among its contributions to space exploration, General Motors developed the navigation systems for the entire Apollo moon program, including the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing and the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) that the Apollo 15 astronauts drove on the moon in 1971. Yes, without GM, that astronaut might not have had the chance to read as he returned to Earth. He might not have ever left Earth at all!
And there’s more! General Motors Foundation is a generous supporter of 826michigan’s work in Detroit, with a grant of $40,000 for programs that give young authors like Alexis a place to craft their stories. This month, we’re giving a hats (or space helmets?) off to General Motors for making space exploration possible, and for supporting our work in Detroit.
General Motors is a global organization with a worldwide marketplace, but it calls Detroit, Michigan its hometown– in fact, you can see its headquarters jutting up from the skyline from our Detroit Robot Factory. GM supports organizations that enhance the quality of life through education, neighborhood revitalization and cultural enrichment. As GM states in its Hometown Giving mission, “We aim to drive sustainable change throughout the Detroit community by supporting organizations that help promote workforce development, stabilize neighborhoods, and attract and retain residents, businesses and visitors to the city.” 826michigan is proud to be one of those Detroit organizations.
We’re grateful to General Motors Foundation for this generous investment in the Motor City’s young writers. Thank you, GM, for amplifying student voices and helping young minds explore the cosmos.