Just when I was getting really excited about spending it on a coffee machine for our new offices (more on that in another post), Alex pointed me in the direction of DonorsChoose.org and told me to spend spend spend.
[Now before you think Alex got all altruistic on me, I should tell you that DonorsChoose.org was what the object of the gift cert from Google - I'm very impressed]
So, I just went over to the site to learn more about what we were donating to and was delighted to find a wonderful concept close to my heart I just had to tell you about.
In short, DonorsChoose.org allows the donor to choose amongst a variety of school projects across the US that need funding. The teacher puts together a pitch for the project, what the money is going to be used for, and the amount needed, and you get to make a charitable donation towards it.
The story behind the site is totally borne from one teacher's frustration in the public school system:
DonorsChoose.org was pioneered by teachers at a Bronx public high school in the spring of 2000. Charles Best, then a social studies teacher, saw first-hand the scarcity of materials in our public school classrooms and the profound impact of this scarcity on kids' education. Looking for a way to address this problem, he sensed an untapped potential in people who were frustrated by their lack of influence over the use of their charitable donations. DonorsChoose.org, a website connecting classrooms in need with individuals who want to help, was born.
Embrace donated to the "Chillin' with a Chapter Book" project at Glendale Primary School in Bedford, Ohio to buy books for students to help reading skills. Here's their teacher's pitch:
I am a third grade teacher and would love to bring the love of reading into my classroom. I would like to give my current and future students the opportunity of reading four different chapter books together in class.
In third grade all students must take the OAT reading achievement test. I would like to incorporate these chapter books into helping them study for the test. We will have out loud reading, quiet time reading, read in pairs, and book discussions. I will make up practice tests with subjects that they will see on the OAT test; such as predicting, summarizing, cause & effect, characters, setting, plot, and author's purpose,etc.
I am asking for a donation of 27 copies of four different books. I would like the same book for each student so we can discuss the same book as a class. I am hoping this will improve scores on the OAT and that it will familiarize the students with some interesting books that they may want to read the remaining books in the series on their own.
A classroom can never have enough books. Thank you for all your support.
My project needs 27 copies each of Annoying Team, Third Grade Detectives #1&2, Jake Drake Know-It-All, and Zombies Don't Play Soccer. The cost of this proposal is $566, which includes shipping for any materials requested and fulfillment.
I totally agree, a classroom can never have enough books. I'm glad we could do our part.
If you like, you could do your part too for this project or any other you take a fancy to.
'Tis the season after all.