October 26, 2009
As of 7 pm on Monday, October 26, DonorsChoose supporters have inspired $76,195 in donations from 1,957 donors! That’s great news!
The goal of the October 2009 giving challenge is to raise $100,000 or inspire 5,000 donors. Wouldn’t it be amazing to do both? If you can give support to this cause – with a donation of as little as $1 – click here to find a proposal that you’d like to provide some funding for.
The proposal I chose to provide some funding for (must practice what I preach) is “ELL Students Love to Read Too.” You can also find it on my Giving Page. This proposal asks for bilingual and Spanish-language books, as well as WhisperPhones for a classroom in Chicago. These are materials that generous donors have provided to my classroom in the past. WhisperPhones are plastic headsets that a student can whisper into and hear an amplification of the words. I love WhisperPhones for younger students, who have little sense of the volume of their voices when reading aloud (and who can create quite a cacophony during independent reading), but they’re also great for older students who are just learning to read. In DC, I had a middle school student who was reading on a 2nd grade level. He was very embarrassed to read out loud, but it was essential that he do so – at least to himself – so that he could hear his own reading and understand what it was that he read. Having the WhisperPhones in our classroom saved him the embarrassment; he could hear himself, but the rest of the group couldn’t hear him. What a wonderful tool.
If you don’t want to just be inspired, but want to go on and inspire others, you can create a Giving Page too. When I created my Giving Page, I looked for projects that were of personal or academic interest to me. In addition to the project I described above, ELL Students Love to Read Too, I have a couple of projects on my Giving Page that were posted by teachers who work at my former schools. (I won’t name them here for confidentiality purposes; you can see pictures of students there on proposals.) I worked with one of those teachers, Mrs. H of “Help Us Give Our Classroom Library a Little Class.” She is an inspiring educator, so I’m glad to add her proposal to my Giving Page. Some of the other projects on there just sounded inspiring to me. I have gotten pretty involved in running, and I’m coaching Girls on the Run at my school, so I added a project from another Girls on the Run coach who is looking for MP3 players for her students. Along the same lines, a teacher in Oregon is training with her high school students for a marathon and requested 16 iPod shuffles to help them keep up the intensity while running long distances. I can get behind that!
I hope you’ll consider the impact a small donation can have: Be one of the 5,000 donors or help DonorsChoose reach $100,000 in October, and another $100,000 in matching funds will become available to fund teacher proposals. With leverage like that, it’s a great time for giving.
April 16, 2008
I opened my eyes with some reluctance this morning (March 29), though I’d only taken half a dose of Nyquil to ease my cold last night. Allen coaxed me down from the bed with reminders that 11 am was soon approaching.
At eleven, we were just leaving the apartment, late as usual. My phone rang, and it was Isabelle, waiting at the Hotel de Ville. We could see the Hotel de Ville ahead of us; she said she’d get in line. When we arrived a few minutes later, I realized I didn’t know what she looked like, so I walked the length of the line with my black jacket and green bag. A blond called out my name. Isabelle. Allen and I cut the line to join her, and we’d only just exchanged names and nice-to-meet-you’s when another woman walked up and introduced herself as Kim.
Kim was the woman who had originally advertised on craigslist to gather other expat wives and girlfriends. Having traded my aversion to meeting Americans in France in exchange for additional company in our last three months, Allen and I had invited the group and their significant others to join us at the photography exhibit “Paris en Couleurs” and then to an English book sale.
A few months ago, Antoine and Typhaine had told us that Paris en Couleurs was worth seeing (et en plus, it was free). With the exhibit ending on Monday, we stood in line for about an hour to get in, along with the other latecomers. It was indeed worth the wait. The photography dated from 1907 with the Lumiere brothers. The vibrant colors showed the Paris of all our dreams. My descriptions wouldn’t do the photographs justice.
After the exhibit, Kim, Allen, and I jumped on the metro and visited the book sale at Saint Joseph’s church in the 8th. I’m not sure if this is “the” American church or not, but the volunteers for SOS Helpline, an English support line in Paris, had organized an English book sale here based on donations. Paperbacks were 1 euro each. How could we resist?
Between the two of us, Allen and I took home 13 books. Allen chose only three of those, but five of mine were Agatha Christies. I haven’t read Agatha Christie in years, but I remember enjoying her books and reading them in a day or two. (I remember an awkward time in middle school when I read our assigned Agatha Christie the evening we were given the book. The next day my teacher joked, “Anyone read the whole thing yet?” Somehow I gave up that I had. Height of loserdom.) In addition to the Agatha Christies (I should mention that I didn’t come close to clearing the table of available Agatha Christies), I also found a copy of The Giver and another of Flat Stanley (would you believe I don’t own that?) that were in excellent condition. Those will make their way back to the States and into my classroom library.
After paying for our purchases (12 euros – about 18 dollars – for 13 books), we parted with Kim and returned home. We snacked on crepes with Nutella (late lunch) and later shared couscous with cherry tomatoes and feta (early dinner) before I left for babysitting. Et voila!