October 26, 2009

DonorsChoose bests $75,000 in the giving challenge!

Posted in Daily life tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:23 pm by Lauren

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.


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