I’m a little behind in this! Argh this holiday season is not as smooth sailing as I want it to be! In light of the recent tragedy in Newtown, CT, I want to highlight what all our public schools are doing for our children. Every day teachers around the country walk into amazing classrooms, filled with up to date technology and state of the art, brand new textbooks and every supply they need. However, some others walk into classrooms that have outdate textbooks, no technology, and crayons, markers, and other supplies that they have spent their own money on just so their children can have the simple items. As a fifth grade teacher, I went into a classroom that very much resembled one from my own elementary school in the early 80s… and it was 2005.
Thus, the first charity I want to highlight is DonorsChoose.org. Their mission is to “engage the public in public schools by giving people a simple, accountable and personal way to address educational inequity. We envision a nation where children in every community have the tools and experiences needed for an excellent education.” This website lets you pick a specific project in individual classrooms to donate money towards. Teachers from across the nation can post their desires for items for projects or simple things like markers for their classrooms. The best part is that you can give any amount that you want towards a project, from just a single dollar to funding the whole project. The money goes to the organization who purchases the products and sends them directly to the teacher.
If the project doesn’t reach the goal, the money gets sent back to the donater as an account credit and you can then choose a different project to fund or send the teacher a Donors Choose gift card.
Check out this fascinating timeline here from their website on the success of their charity. I admit, there were a few times when I teared up, especially when a tornado struck Joplin, MO in August 2011 and 260 Joplin teachers posted to DonorsChoose.org to rebuild their classrooms and all of the projects were funded. No country bonds together like the United States when in crisis. The best part is that it was created by a history teacher, Charles Best (pictured above).
If you want to know more about their financials and legal aspects of the company, they post it on their website here. So go check out their website and browse around. Even if you can’t or don’t donate any money, it’s fun to look at the different projects going on around the country in our local schools and just how much our teachers care about our children and the development of their young minds.
Projects website: http://www.donorschoose.org/donors/search.html
I’m sure that you are with me when I say our thoughts and prayers are with those who are suffering across the globe from gun violence, but especially the families in Newtown, CT. May we find a way to help the people who need it so more tragedies like this do not occur. In this time, its more important than ever to let our teachers know how much we value them. Find a project within your local community and help a teacher.