Donors Choose: Connecting the Public to Public schools
As much as we wish it were so, there isn’t unlimited global funding for education. Even if we achieved political utopia, it would still be a struggle. Dedicated teachers everywhere who just want to see their students succeed pour their hard earned money back into the school systems to buy books, supplies, and technology to make their lessons possible. With Donors Choose, we can all become a part of the solution.
How It Works
Since the year 2000, any public school teacher in the USA can submit a project to the site to be considered for funding. Each submission is vetted by the Donors Choose team and posted online. Donors can contribute either a portion or the whole cost of a project. Once the project reaches its funding goal, the team will purchase all the necessary materials and ship them directly to the respective school for use. Then minds are blown! Each teacher is responsible for submitting photos of the project in action and thank you notes from the students to donors.
Why It Is Great For Teachers
Imagine how powerful it would feel for a teacher in an underfunded district to go from painstakingly photocopying every page of a novel (as founder Charles Best once did for his students) just so they could each read it, to being able to purchase a classroom’s worth of books that not only one class, but many students to come can benefit from? Going beyond that, Donors Choose gives teachers the chance to be creative in their curriculum, proposing projects that will bring something novel to their students’ worlds to which they wouldn’t normally be exposed. The generosity of teachers is admirable, but considering the average annual wage of teachers in the USA is somewhere between $35,000-$50,000 annually, (Canada is slightly higher), this leaves very little disposable income and we think they deserve to reinvest in themselves as well as their students.
“Donors Choose is the greatest, simplest idea.” - Stephen Colbert
Why It Is Great For Donors
You get to choose to support a project you are passionate about. Or choose a project that is in imminent need of funding and see your dollars applied to an urgent topic. When you receive that thank you note in the mail, it will give you a fond reminder that you made it possible for a classroom of seventh graders to build a robot, or helped second graders learn to read.The difference you make will show on the smiling faces of children who are slipping through cracks that shouldn’t be there.
We have classrooms and Universities filled with amazing technologies like iPads and digital whiteboards, but what about the kids who have never seen a package of pencil crayons or the high school students who struggle without enough textbooks? They deserve these basics just as much, and have a debatably higher need.
Politicians, philanthropists, corporations, every person that makes up these groups had to attend some sort of school in their life to get to where they are. Not everyone is interested in taking on a role in our education systems, or has the time, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to help! Donations are not just a vote for the importance of education, but to the children receiving the benefits, they are saying “...that somebody cares about [their] future and [their] potential, and that is a powerful thing.” (Donors Choose, About Us)
This organization empowers the everyday citizen to contribute to the United States’ public education system in a meaningful, measurable way. And empowers teachers and students with the tools they need to teach and to learn. How amazing would it be if this went global?
We at COL are proud to include Donors Choose into the list of selected charities. Their organization is perfectly aligned with ours as an educonscious organization that collaborates with its supporters to help develop projects that enrich the educational experience of youth that need it.
Subscribe to our newsletter for upcoming sales, articles on fashion, education, and other game changers and industry shakers. Subscribe now!
Related Article: Right To Knowledge
Take a peek into the second annual TED-Q through a Q&A with the founder, Billy Quirke as he explores what matters the most to us in our everyday lives.