One day one of my colleagues turned an average day into " THE BEST DAY EVER" for me. It was the day my colleague told me about DonorsChoose.org. It is a non-profit organization with a mission to help students and teachers in public school systems. Teachers create accounts and write "projects" or mini-grants. (It's basically a fill-in-the-blank type of thing. I've been known to write one over my "30 minute" lunch break.) Donors frequent the site donating desired amounts to projects that align with their interests. Once the project is funded, the materials are shipped directly to the school for the students. My colleague explained all of this to me, but I was skeptical. Ya know, because the internet is super dangerous and what-not. I didn't even bother looking into it at first.......UNTIL.....until I saw loads of boxes being delivered to the classroom next door time and time again. I would watch the teacher unload beautiful materials from vendors I loved. That's when I finally decided maybe I would try it, but I would be very cautious.
In my first project, (which I was certain was a long-shot) I requested a puppet stage with some puppets. Since DonorsChoose.org is THE BOMB, my project was funded before I knew it. Since my first project, DonorsChoose.org has helped my students obtain over $14,000 worth of materials with 37 (and counting) projects completed. I have requested various items including classroom furniture, books, consumables, play items, manipulatives, and learning centers. In the future, I will share with you some of my favorite items my students and I have received from the incredibly generous donors over the years.
It wasn't the lesser of many cafeteria food evils that brought me joy that day, but I can truly say it was one of the best days ever! If you're a public school teacher and haven't tried it yet, what are you waiting for?