The BBC Conservation and Education Committee is pleased to announce an extraordinary run of six Book Fund donations, totaling around $4000, to schools and educational programs from around and beyond Massachusetts. The Book Fund, supported entirely by member donations, was instituted to promote bird and nature study in K-12 schools and educational programs. In some years the Fund has received few or no applications, and by April 2023 it had accumulated significant reserves. This surge in donations resulted from more extensive outreach, especially to the Association of Massachusetts Bird Clubs, and a revision of guidelines to allow up to $750 for a single donation, include optics as educational materials; and expand to include pre-K programs.

Several recent donations are especially noteworthy. Historically, all donations had been within Massachusetts, but our guidelines do not specify any geographical restrictions, and with a longtime Massachusetts birder as our contact, we took advantage of a unique opportunity to provide binoculars for what is probably the only school in Kenya with a birding club, the Beverly School of Kenya Young Birders Club. We also supported a library program in Northampton that offered a live-bird presentation for families in conjunction with the purchase of “birding kits” that library patrons can borrow—a growing trend in libraries across the country to make birding more inclusive and accessible. And our first preschool donation, for field guides and children’s binoculars, went to the Boston Outdoor Preschool Network. Other recipients include the Pine Hill Elementary School in Sherborn, the Village School in Royalston, and Cambridge Community Education at Mass Audubon in Cambridge. Thanks go to our generous members and the hard work of the Book Fund Subcommittee: John Nelson, Leslie Kramer, and, especially, Dave Williams, who took over the role of subcommittee chair in early 2023.

To donate to the Book Fund, you can designate an amount on the “BBC School Book Fund” line on the back page of the club bulletin when you renew your membership or, especially for life members, at any time you wish to donate. To donate online, click on “Join” at the top of the BBC home page and designate an amount under “optional donation to BBC School Book Fund” when you fill out the membership form. For inquiries or applications to the Book Fund, contact Dave Williams at