Distributed over 250,000 free books since 2010
The “Jeremy Jackrabbit” children’s book series is Arizona’s largest literacy collaboration. Co-authored by Rodney and Sasha Glassman, the series centers on Jeremy’s growing awareness of natural resources and the importance of leveraging, preserving and protecting them.
The Glassmans have long histories of community involvement and service.
Rodney Glassman is an Eagle Scout who earned master’s degrees in business and public administration and a doctorate in arid land resource sciences before going to law school. He was elected to the Tucson City Council, worked toward sustainability-related community partnerships for Waste Management, Inc., served as interim town manager for the town of Cave Creek and is currently a Republican candidate for the Arizona Corporation Commission.
He is an attorney at Beus Gilbert, PLLC, as well as a major in the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps Reserves of the U.S. Air Force.
Sasha is also an attorney, who holds an MBA and master’s degree in Latin American studies, serves as Assistant General Counsel for a Valley-based electronics manufacturing company. She is former President of the Madison Elementary School District Governing Board and has volunteered at her neighborhood school and with Lawyers for Literacy. The Glassmans have two daughters: Rose, 7, and Ruth, 5.
The idea for “Jeremy Jackrabbit” was inspired nearly 10 years ago at the Tucson Festival of Books, when the Glassmans were challenged by one of the festival co-founders to create their own children’s book that combined their shared passions for literacy and environmental stewardship.With Rodney’s background in natural resource policy and Sasha’s passion for literacy, the “Jeremy Jackrabbit” book series was born.
Since 2010, the Glassmans have authored six titles including, “Jeremy Jackrabbit Harvests the Rain,” “Jeremy Jackrabbit Captures the Sun,” “Jeremy Jackrabbit Saves Every Drop,” “Jeremy Jackrabbit Recycles the Can,” “Jeremy Jackrabbit Builds the House” and “Jeremy Jackrabbit Hops on Board” (fall 2018).
Each story is illustrated by K-8th grade student artists from across Arizona through a competition distributed through local school districts. Averaging over 1,000 drawings per title, Sasha selects the drawings that best align with the story, and the book is then put together. Throughout the year, the Glassmans identify 10 business and community sponsors who are willing to contribute $10,000 each so that they may print and bind 50,000 copies of the book to distribute to every kindergartener in Maricopa County and beyond.
Both Gov. Doug Ducey and Arizona State University President Michael Crow have written forwards for five of the books, including the newest one. Rick Shangraw, CEO of the ASU Foundation for A New American University, set up the donor-designated fund that acts as a fiduciary for money the Glassmans raise.
The couple is most proud of the fact that 100 percent of the money raised goes to printing and binding books, Rodney said. “Everyone involved is a volunteer.” When the Jeremy Jackrabbit books are distributed, each batch of 25 books includes “hands-on lesson plans (for teachers) that are aligned to Common Core Standards and incorporate characters of the book,” Rodney said.
While books are not for sale, the Glassmans are always willing to contribute excess copies to worthy nonprofit organizations and school districts across Arizona. To learn more visit jeremyjackrabbit.com.