Archive for the 'Donors Choose' category

New Projects for Donors Choose Drive for #Ferguson

Aug 21 2014 Published by under CrowdFund, Donors Choose

Wow.

Three Donors Choose projects I posted yesterday were completely funded in less than 15 hours. I am delighted so many of you found this opportunity to help the communities around Ferguson Missouri attractive. If you missed out on contributing, never fear, there are new opportunities to help. Please also pass this suggestion along to your friends, family and social media contacts.

At least three school districts appear to have been greatly affected by the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

The Jennings, Ferguson-Florissant and Riverview Gardens districts canceled classes Monday following another night of unrest in which at least three people were shot and more businesses were vandalized.
....
“Those districts in particular have very limited funds,” Osborn said, adding that Reinvest North County’s priority is to get kids into class.

That page lists several funds that are open to public donation, if that strikes your fancy.

I like the ability to fund small scale projects requested directly by teachers, made possible by DonorsChoose. I find that other people seem to like the immediacy of this support as well. So I have a few more projects for your consideration.

Ms. Catalino is requesting support for language and mathematics education in Kindergarten at Fairview Primary School in Jennings. The Children Are Our Future project indicates:

My students come from low income families and are very needy. They want to learn and enjoy learning when given the opportunity. A lot of the children become easily angered and can be hard to handle. I keep my children in my classroom actively engaged in learning, so I do not have many anger outbursts. I provide a safe, warm, and exciting environment in my classroom. They love to come into my classroom and are eager to learn. My children develop high self esteem due to the success they have in my classroom.

The project seeks funds for language and math teaching materials for Common Core as well as a classroom magazine.

The Math Common Core item I put in my project will enrich all the students by building a foundation for Math. It will provide centers and hands-on activities for each child. The activities will keep their interest and the children will want to do the activities over and over.

The Phonological Common Core item will prepare the children with a solid foundation for reading. The children will enjoy all the activities in the kit. The activities will be used in centers to provide enrichment and remedial help in a fun way for the students. The activities will keep the children engaged throughout our center time.

Would you care to help some kindergartners?

Next I see Mrs. Belger, also at Fairview Primary in Jennings, needs presentation equipment for teaching her first graders. In 1,2,3 Eyes on Me! she indicates:

We need a multi-purpose and portable teaching easel to use for general instruction. Picture if you will, 26 little eager eyes looking up at you, waiting to be engaged and learn something new. Whole group instruction takes place often during our school day. Students are gathered together in the meeting area, learning together. The teacher and her/his easel are the focus point of the lesson. There I can model how to write letters of the alphabet, show a big book, teach math strategies, how to write a sentence, and so much more.

Mrs. Belger has a second request, Making Leaps and Bounds Toward Success! as well.

Would you care to make Mrs. Belger's classroom a little more effective this year?

Finally, for today, I draw your attention to Mrs. Schumer's first graders at Halls Ferry Elementary School in Florissant, MO. In Rain and Cold Won't Ruin Our Day! she notes:

The school I teach at serves families with very low incomes. Many of my families are living with extended family and are struggling to provide for their child's basic needs. As a result, the children in my class do not have a lot of opportunity to use learning toys like those I am requesting. These "toys" would be an educational way for my students to spend indoor recess time this winter.

While my students are excited to come to school to learn each day, they also have a lot of fun getting exercise and playing with friends during recess. When winter rolls around (or rain falls) and they are unable to go out for recess, we have very few activities in our room for the children to use. I would love to have something fun for them to do that helps them gain valuable social skills, fine motor skills, and critical thinking skills. The building sets and doll play sets would make my children love indoor recess just as much as outdoor recess!

Would you like to make the rain days just a little bit more fun for the children?

I realize there are many demands on your donation dollars these days, folks. So if you are tapped, no biggie. Just consider passing the idea of helping the children affected by the Ferguson unrest along to your friends and families. I know many of them will be happy to know of the opportunity.

Many hands makes light work!

10 responses so far

Donors Choose Drive for #Ferguson

Aug 20 2014 Published by under Donors Choose

As you know, Dear Reader, I am a big fan of Donors Choose and the opportunity to help out classrooms in need around these here tax-phobic United States of America. A mention on Twitter triggered me to realize we could help out, slightly, with the current dismal situation in Ferguson Missouri by looking for some school projects to support.

Searching by Zip Code 63135 at Donors Choose I found a few hits.

First up, History is Our Story pt.3 in Ferguson Middle School.

I ask my students this on the first day and throughout the year.The U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, voting and our legal system are a big part of the 8th grade curriculum so we spend a lot of time talking about citizens' rights and responsibilities

Well isn't this one just smack-dab on task?

My students are 8th graders in a diverse community. Unfortunately, families in this area are still recovering from the economic downturn. There are still a lot of underemployed or parents working several part time jobs to make ends meet. Over 90% of students receive free or reduced priced lunches. In the last 2 years, we have had to rebuild twice because of tornado damage and now we are facing a crisis of civil unrest.

Ok, I'm sold. Anyone else want to donate to Mrs. Simmonds's Technology project?

Next up... Better Equipped to Better Perform!

My students come into my classroom every day fired up to make music together. We are working towards becoming a competitive high school band program by participating in musical competitions, but it's hard for my students to compete on sub-par instruments and when we are unable to afford travel.

My students are an incredible mix and variety of characters and backgrounds. I have students in all grades 9-12, at various levels of musical competency. Many of them come from lower-income backgrounds, and therefore do not have access to many of the opportunities other band students their age have, such as private lessons, owning their own instruments, and so on. They are a tight-knit group, and we often refer to ourselves as the band family. Almost all of my students live in Ferguson, Missouri and have been affected by the events there of the past couple of weeks.

You know what, people? My parents provided the kids in my household with private music lessons for many years. My spouse and I are able to provide our kids with music lessons as well. It is a thing that is a default educational experience in my best of all possible worlds. Mr. Naylor at McCluer High School in Florissant, MO wants to upgrade their musical equipment by purchasing two euphoniums. Would you care to help them out?

Finally, for today, a Science project at Jennings Junior High School. Jennings school district appears to be affected by the situation in Ferguson.

The unrest in this St. Louis-area town straddles two school districts — Ferguson and Jennings. Jennings had already started school last week, but since some of the district's schools border parts of a hub for nightly street clashes, officials called off classes early Tuesday morning and notified parents with phone calls and text messages.

Mrs. Brown has posted Science Portfolios for Science Masters.

Help to organize minds! Sixth and Seventh grade students are typically all over the place. With this in mind it is very important to teach them organization skills while they are in school. A folder with papers flying everywhere and missing homework is an everyday occurrence.

The students I teach are in an urban school where supplies often few and far between. The students come with very few supplies, not because they don't want or need them, but simply they do not have the money to obtain the supplies necessary for school.

Binders and paper, folks. That is a need that they have because the schools are underfunded and people live in economic distress. Are your middle class sensibilities outraged yet? This is where we are as a country.

I thank you for your consideration.

__
p.s. As always, if you don't feel the pull of these projects go on over to DonorsChoose and search around for yourself. I recommend starting with the Zip Code search 63135 but really, find something that attracts you, even if it isn't in Missouri. Plenty of deserving projects all over the country in all sorts of schools.

12 responses so far

Mad about school funding

Mar 20 2014 Published by under Donors Choose

The economic impact of the March Madness basketball tournament is immense. The much-quoted Challenger, Gray and Christmas analysis estimated a few billion dollars in lost productivity alone, due to workers slacking off to watch games and obsess over their brackets. Cities that host games might draw in the neighborhood of $4-6 million, according to the above linked article. Regardless of whether March Madness basketball games are a net gain for cities (or Universities) the main point is that money is expended. Huge sums.

bluebirdhappinessAt the personal level, how many individual citizens kick down some money to throw a watch party for their alma mater's game? How many overpay for a hamburger, fries and a few pints of crappy beer at the local sports bar?
Well, I have a proposition for you, Dear Reader. Actually, the bluebird of Twitter happiness known as My T Chondria and Scientopia's own Gerty-Z of Balanced Instability have a proposition for you.

The proposition is that you head on over the ESPN to fill out a bracket challenge.

The group is DarwinsBalls, the password is Darwin

Then, after you have done so (or even if you see this too late), head over to Donor's Choose and donate $5 (or more, hey, just order one fewer beers or skip the fries, eh?) to a project supporting science education in under privileged schools.

Gerty-Z and MyTChondria suggested a few, they are now on challenge number 5

UPDATE v. 5: DAMN! It's hard to keep up with you all!! Here is the next project, since Mrs. Brown's class is now set up. Let's bring home the Bacon (Francis Bacon) for Mr. Kovach's class in Chicago!

We didn't do the October bloggers drive for Donor's Choose this year. So perhaps you, as I have been, keep hearing a nagging voice in the back of your head. For those of you who are new, Mr Kovach's appeal will give you a flavor of the type.

I teach in an inner city public elementary school. Our students are always eager to learn; we are an extremely dedicated community that is proud to serve one of the highest populations of students currently living in homeless shelters out of hundreds of schools in our city. We strive to practice highly engaging, meaningful, challenging, cooperative, and most of all FUN learning experiences that will inevitably inspire all of our students to not only graduate high school, but to pursue college as a part of their long-term goals. Many of our students continue on to be the first members of their families to graduate with a college degree, and many are now pursing degrees in various areas of Science.

They sound very worthy. So what is the project?

This proposal seeks fetal pig specimens and dissecting kits so that our 7th grade students can continue to work in small cooperative groups in order to explore anatomy and physiology in the most realistic manner possible. It has been exciting for our 7th graders to show the younger students and their teachers of our school the process of conducting fetal pig autopsies, and to see little eyes peeping into our classroom door each day of the project.

Ah yes, the old fetal pig dissection model. C'mon, be honest.....isn't this one of the 3-5 things you can actually remember from your biology education in primary or secondary school? Isn't this something that would be tops on your list if you were designing Biology curricula? ....and aren't you slightly gobsmacked to realize this is something that doesn't fit into the Biology teacher's budget anymore?

Well, it doesn't for poorer (and not so poorer) schools.

So, I ask you. Find it in your hear to kick down a few bucks for childhood science education.

(and by all means, if this project or classroom doesn't work for your, there are a ton more at Donor's Choose. Search by academic domain, by poverty level, by geographical region. There will be something to tug your heartstrings.)

No responses yet

One more week to finish out the DonorsChoose year with matching funds!

Jun 03 2013 Published by under Donors Choose, DonorsChoose Blogger Challenge

A big thanks to all of you who have donated to DonorsChoose in recent days. As a reminder, DonorsChoose has come up with a $25,000 matching fund to double the donations of all of you who read the Scientopia blogs!

This promotion will expires at midnight Hawaii time Friday, June 7 (6am eastern June 8) and is good for up to $100 per donor for a total of $25,000 in matching funds. This is a great time to pat a teacher on the back after a long school year and let them know that people out there value their work and value their students as much as they do. Not to mention get them all set to hit the ground running in the Fall.

So click on over to the Scientopia blogs' DonorsChoose Giving page and see if there is any project that catches your eye. If not, just use the project browser on the sidebar to find a classroom or project that gains your sympathy. There is no need to stick to the giving page suggestions. Maybe you have a certain topic that is dear to your heart? Perhaps there is a geographical location that you want to support in some way? Browse around, there are many very needy projects.

Then, when you are in the payment checkout page, enter SCIENTOPIA in the "match or gift code" field. See here for screenshot.

I urge you, even if you can't donate at the moment, to post a link on your Tweeterers, Facebooks and what not. I find my friends and family who have never heard of DonorsChoose before to be grateful to be made aware of this place for their charitable giving.

3 responses so far

Finish out the school year for a needy classroom with a DonorsChoose matched donation

May 23 2013 Published by under Donors Choose, DonorsChoose Blogger Challenge

Many of you responded enthusiastically to the DonorsChoose science bloggers drives that we've been running in the fall, just after the start of the school year. For those who donated, my thanks and respect.

Now DonorsChoose has come up with a $25,000 matching fund for you, Dear Readers, all of you who read the Scientopia blogs!

So click on over to the end of the year Scientopia blogs' DonorsChoose Giving page and see if there is any project that catches your eye.

If not, just use the project browser on the sidebar to find a classroom or project that gains your sympathy. There is no need to stick to the giving page suggestions. Maybe you have a certain topic that is dear to your heart? Perhaps there is a geographical location that you want to support in some way? Browse around, there are many very needy projects.

Then, when you are in the payment checkout page, enter SCIENTOPIA in the "match or gift code" field. See here for screenshot. This promotion will be valid now through June 7 (it expires at midnight Hawaii time Friday, June 7; 6am eastern June 8) and is good for up to $100 per donor for a total of $25,000 in matching funds.

2 responses so far

Hoppity Hop Hop!

Nov 09 2012 Published by under Donors Choose, DonorsChoose Blogger Challenge

Only one day (today) left to donate through my challenge page in the Science bloggers for students drive to a classroom project at DonorsChoose Folks.

How about a nice frog project?

Do you remember the first time you participated in a dissection in your science class? Well, my students have not had that experience yet but I would like to change that for them.
I have great students! Our school is a Title 1 school and most of our students come from a high poverty area in South Carolina. They absolutely love the idea of having the opportunity to dissect a frog and learn more about animal anatomy. They are VERY bright students and are eager to learn.

Maybe a little gene wrangling?

I have conducted this laboratory activity in the last two years of AP Biology, and most students cite it as THE reason they choose to study science or continue education and training in biotechnology. This lab turns students into scientists--it allows them to take samples of their own DNA, use a technique called PCR to make billions of copies of identical DNA, and then analyze their own genes to determine their genotype for a specific trait.

Every little bit counts. And if you enter the matching code SCIENCE, your donation up to $100 will be doubled.

Thanks again to all who have donated to the Scientopia and other blog challenges.

No responses yet

Donor's Choose News: Extension and Matching funds

First, my thanks to those of you who have found the time, generosity and money to donate to classrooms that are in need. Not just for my challenge...

...but all of you donating through Scientopia blog challenges or other Science Bloggers for Students efforts.

There is some news as we near the end of the challenge period, originally planned to end 11/6. From DonorsChoose honchos:

Due to the massive power outages on the eastern seaboard this week, we are going to extend the Science Bloggers for Students campaign through next Friday, November 9. The SCIENCE match code will also be extended.

Oh yeah. So you have another week to throw down a little scratch. Also, remember to enter SCIENCE in the "Match or gift code" box when you are checking out with your payment information for your donation. There is a match in effect up to a $100 donation so you get to leverage your contribution. Pretty cool.

6 responses so far

Training Future Surgeons...or Scientists

Oct 25 2012 Published by under Donors Choose, DonorsChoose Blogger Challenge

Teacher Ms. S. has requested support for her science class to learn basic vertebrate biology with the time honored dissection lab.

This grant will provide our science classroom with the equipment necessary to complete two laboratory dissections with 100 students. After an in depth study of the circulatory system and the chambers and structures of the heart, we will dissect a sheep heart. I selected a sheep heart since they are almost identical in size and structure as a human heart. We will continue with our anatomical studies of the other human organ systems, including the respiratory, digestive, excretory, reproductive, muscular, and skeletal systems. As a final culminating project, we will dissect a large bullfrog to develop a much deeper understanding of how the organs work together in the human body.

The REALM Charter school in Oakland California has an admirable goal

MISSION
The mission of Realm Charter School is to cultivate resiliency, develop critical thinking skills, advance knowledge through rigorous studies, and equip students to serve our communities and the world in the 21st century. Realm Charter School will serve diverse urban students in grades 6-12 using a student-centered model that features project-based learning, an emphasis on technology, research and action on concerns in the community and activities that develop emotional resiliency.

and is described further by Ms. S.:

The REALM Charter School student body consists of 80% students of color living in Richmond, Berkeley, and Oakland. Approximately 60% of our students are Latino, and the remaining 40% are African American, Asian and White. We are a project based design school. We teach students to tackle problems and seek solutions through creative ingenuity.

As my longer term readers know, I've had my eye out for the dissection projects for a few years now because I think they are some of the most memorable primary and secondary school experiences when it comes to scientific education. This has been recently reinforced because one of my children was afforded the ability to do several dissections in a summer program that my spouse and I could happen to afford. Not every child in America is so lucky, as you well know, and this is a High Poverty school.

This is not a cheap project, the remaining balance sits at $1,089 as of this writing. This makes it a steep hill to climb, but I think we have a shot at making it a reality. So please, if you can, donate. Even just a little bit, $5 or $10, chips away at the total and creates momentum.

If you cannot, please consider forwarding the link on your Twitter, on your Facebook and even by email to your friends and families.

I am already humbled by the generosity of the Readers of the DM blog and of the Scientopia Collective. Thanks to everyone who has already pitched in.

3 responses so far

Donor's Choose Time!!!

Oct 22 2012 Published by under Donors Choose, DonorsChoose Blogger Challenge

Yes, folks, it is that time of year. You get to open up your wallets, even $5 helps people, to help little kids' school classrooms. It is no secret that public education has been enduring a long downward slide in the ranks of things that are important to voters/taxpayers in the US. But you probably didn't know just how bad it has gotten. Peruse these projects, see the things that you remember as having been the expected value (like dissection in 10th grade Biology) and wonder that this is no longer the case.

Then give. The kids will benefit.

One response so far

One last plea for your money to help children learn

Oct 22 2011 Published by under Donors Choose, DonorsChoose Blogger Challenge

Do you like arbitrary targets? The overall blogger drive is sitting at $49,620 as of this writing.

Can we make it an even $50,000?

The final hours are upon us..... you know what to do!

4 responses so far

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