DonorsChoose Fundraising Update

In the comments of my last post, JB posted:

Quick question on the fundraiser. Thanks for highlighting it. I’m a bit confused, because as a parent of a MPS child who’s in distance learning 2nd grade this year, we had the choice of a district supplied iPad OR Chromebook. Why isn’t this MPS school having the same option? It is a district wide policy? I looked on the link you have, and it doesn’t really explain it. My tax dollars are already supporting this, as far as I can tell.

I e-mailed the teacher and here’s what I found out. Yes: the school district is providing laptops. When she posted the fundraiser in June, there had been zero communication from the district about what, if anything, was going to be provided for distance learning. By the time the district announced what they were doing, she’d gotten some contributions and thus didn’t want to just take the whole fundraiser down. Unfortunately, there’s no way to revise a Donors Choose fundraiser after launch. At this point, she’s hoping that it does NOT fund — because (assuming people who donated agree to send the money as a gift card for the classroom) she will be able to use that money for other key distance-learning needs, like headphones and supplies and books that she can send to the kids’ homes. She is absolutely over the moon at the generosity and has a lot of ideas on how she can enhance the learning of these third-grade students but would, in fact, prefer not to spend it on laptops (although she noted that if a corporate donor swoops in and donates the last of the money, as sometimes happens, they’ll be new computers, nice ones, something her students rarely get to experience, and I am going to hazard a guess that the school will not have surplus technology for very long.)

But for now:

I’m going to ask people to, if they have donated to Ms. Stone’s fundraiser, to send the money back to her classroom as a gift card if it does not fund.

But, if they have not donated to that fundraiser and would like to make a different donation that would please me very much, I have found a number of other Minneapolis and St. Paul public school classrooms that could use a hand with supplies and technology for distance learning.

Ms. Anglin, a math teacher at Washington Technology Magnet School in St. Paul, would like to provide her students with noise-cancelling headphones. 96% of the students at Washington Tech receive free or reduced-price lunch, and 70% are English-language learners. https://www.donorschoose.org/project/investment-for-distance-learning-success/5040842/

Mr. Andy, an autism teacher at Sullivan Elementary in South Minneapolis, would like to provide his students with task boxes, to decrease the amount of required screen time during distance learning. https://www.donorschoose.org/project/especially-distance-learning-task-boxes/5170363/

There are a number of teachers at the Barak and Michelle Obama Elementary School who are looking for help with supplies for at-home learning.

Mrs. Harper would like linking math cubes and also white boards for students to write answers on: https://www.donorschoose.org/project/all-hands-on-deck/5158760/ and https://www.donorschoose.org/project/help-me-respond-write-away/5185420/

Ms. Holden would like graphic novels and a webcam for her third-grade students: https://www.donorschoose.org/project/distance-learning-for-all/5169000/

Ms. Proeschelt would like write-and-wipe alphabet cards and alphabet floor puzzles to build reading skills in her pre-K students: https://www.donorschoose.org/project/abc-puzzles-for-everyone/5185232/ annd https://www.donorschoose.org/project/we-can-write-our-letters/5185174/

Finally, I just want to share the e-mail I got via my website from Ms. Stone about a day after I first shared her project:

Wow. You posted a link via your blog and our DonorsChoose project has raised at least $1,500 in one day. Thank you, thank you from our hearts. The support of the community is what students, families, and teachers really need right now. I’m not currently on social media myself, so every share is meaningful.

Please know that even if our lofty $ goal is not fully met, every dollar will raised will still be put towards the basic educational needs of our students. We will already be able to provide so much with what has been raised! I can’t wait to send Thank You photos (or screenshots, future being unknown!).

With Gratitude,

Ms. Stone

Thank you to everyone for your support of these projects — it means a lot to me, but it means even more to the teachers and the students they teach.

4 thoughts on “DonorsChoose Fundraising Update

  1. (copying my reply from your other post here) Thank you for the great followup to my question. I’m going to donate to the headphone fund, as I know how important they are in our own house for learning. I appreciate the great work on following up with the teacher, and am happy to contribute to the other needs you’ve highlighted. I’m also happy to hear that the kids at Cityview are getting the technology that my kids Kenwood are receiving.

    Thank you, Naomi! (looking forward to your analysis of the District 4 MPS school board race, hopefully soon as I’m going to send my ballot back in ASAP.)

  2. Thank you for posting this update. I wondered when I saw these appeals what effect they had. I’m pleased to find out your blog readers have responded so wholeheartedly to the needs of these students and teachers. This is also a condemnation of the education funding, political systems, and the lack of enough support from citizens, to make these private efforts to fill in the funding that should be supplied in the original budget. Not a news flash: we don’t live in a perfect system in a perfect universe. I generally trust citizens and democracy even knowing its faults and that there will be many non-participants, abusers, and lechers. We are talking about human beings and can’t expect them, as a group, to be better than they are.

  3. Thank you, so much, Naomi for posting an update and for providing a space for real conversations during a time that it is so needed. To those that have contributed to my classroom, and to other teachers and students recently: Thank You. The student smiles and learning moments we’ve experienced on our virtual learning platforms for these first two weeks make this work feel so meaningful for us. Those positive moments, along with community support, keeps us passionate about our work. It’s priceless, in many ways! Sending peace to All! – Ms. Stone

  4. Thank you, so much, Naomi for posting an update and for providing a space for real conversations during a time that it is so needed. To those that have contributed to my classroom, and to other teachers and students recently: Thank You. The student smiles and learning moments we’ve experienced on our virtual learning platforms for these first two weeks make this work feel so meaningful for us. Those positive moments, along with community support, keep us passionate about our work. It’s priceless, in many ways! Sending peace to All! – Ms. Stone

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