Thursday, August 8, 2013

It's back to school time!

Education is important to me. Education has been a primary theme of my life; In 2011, I graduated from 22nd grade, I currently work as an educator. It's no secret that education matters to me. Education gives students opportunities that matter, that allow them to become productive members of society. Going to school is where students learn not only their core subjects, but also social skills that help them get along with others, connect with mentors who can guide them through the many transitions from childhood to graduation. This is the time of year when all those "Back To School" Ads trigger my desire to support teachers in their classroom. We are going to be talking about education a lot this month.

And while financial support for education in this country remains a complex political problem, it's clear that there are certain things that make it easier for a teacher to teach. No one knows their students better than a teacher, and they are fantastic and identifying the resources that can help students master challenges- whether it's encouragement to read more complex material, or new pencils to facilitate writing. One of my favorite charities of all time is Donor's Choose, a crowd funder that allows you to pick a classroom to support directly. Teachers post their materials lists, and you kick in as much or as little as you like to help them and their students get the year started out right.

Here are a few projects you might consider supporting (based on my estimation of the geography of my current readership), but you can search them all at

Ms. Savage wants to give her Seattle students backpacks with school supplies they can't afford. Gawd, the thought of teaching students who cannot afford the pencils to learn to write with just chokes me up.

Ms. Milligan's class at the Juneau Charter School wants an iPad for use in their literary workshops. Yes, her 4th and 5th graders publish the school's website.

Ms. Ralston want to fill her Pittsburgh Student Achievement Center classroom with pencils, folders, and notebooks so her middle school students have the supplies to get to learning from day 1.

Please let me know if you end up supporting a project at Donor's Choose. Next time, I may guilt you into it by posting the hand written Thank you Notes I got from a classroom in Pittsburgh last spring.

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