Donating to DonorsChoose.org

Posted: August 5, 2011 by sljohnson81 in Uncategorized

Confession #4: Until now, I had not made a donation on the DonorsChoose.org website. I’ve been working here for 9 weeks working on the Partnerships & Business Development team, which interfaces with corporations and foundations to create strategic partnerships to support classrooms in need, yet I myself could not speak to the donor user experience. This was about to change.

As I entered the website, I admit, I was overwhelmed. I didn’t have a specific subject area, resource or school in mind, so I decided to filter by location; didn’t hurt that this was the first filter listed. I’m from northern California, Tiburon to be exact, which is in Marin County, but usually when you think of high poverty or schools in need Marin County does not jump to mind. However, about 10 miles north of Tiburon, is a larger city, San Rafael with many low-income, Hispanic residents.  One of my early volunteer experiences was at the Pickleweed  Park Community Center in the San Rafael canal neighborhood and I also played softball at San Pedro Elementary School for many years, so when I saw a project listed from this elementary school I was drawn immediately.

Who I helped: 1st grade students at San Pedro Elementary School in San Rafael, California. They are 5 and 6 yro and eager to learn to read and write. Most of their families are low income, with both parents working 1 or 2 jobs. This means that while parents desperately want their children to succeed in school, most do not have the financial resources to purchase the materials requested through DonorsChoose.org

Project Details: FISH (Family Involvement Starts Here) Folders give students a way to keep organized, and provide families an easy way to be involved in their child’s education. Families will be able to quickly see what students are learning, find and help students with their homework, see how they are doing on their classwork, and learn what is happening at school. In this way, students will be able to spend their time studying and parents will be able to spend their time helping children with their work, instead of digging around in the backpacks sorting through crumpled papers!

Extensive research has shown that parent involvement leads to student success. FISH folders are a simple but direct way for parents to be involved in their child’s learning. They will also give students an opportunity to develop responsibility, and to learn study and organization skills.

I will get email updates as the teacher posts thank-you notes and photos, so I can watch the project unfold. I will also get student thank-you letters in the mail and can choose to communicate with the teacher and other donors if I want. It feels great to know that I contributed to a classroom at a school in a community that is close to my heart. This is why DonorsChoose.org rocks!

If you want to help complete this project visit DonorsChoose.org!

More to come,

Stephanie

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