You guys, I just saw something on Huff Post about an initiative from donorschoose.org, it’s called Best School Day. The initiative allows public schools to register a classroom project or need to be funded and collects donations from the public through their website. It started in 2000 by a teacher who was spending his own money to subsidize his classroom materials and decided to put a fundraiser together for people who might want to help. Sixteen years later, 2 million citizen donors have contributed, over $414 million dollars has been raised, and over 18 million students have benefited from this. WOW! Powerful, inspiring and all around awesome!!
As a mother of 2 boys working their way through the New York City public school system, a volunteer and school leadership team member for our school, I see first hand the amount of extra time, money and effort our teachers spend on the students. I see the needs in our classrooms and enrichment programs. While we have an amazing and active PTA and parent community constantly fundraising for us, we can always use more. Best School Day is something I know our school can use and so can many others. 69% of public schools in America have used donorschoose.org for this initiative – it should be at 100%.
I don’t know about you, but I loved school when I was a kid – certain subjects, not so much, but for the most part, school was a great place. I made so many friends and great memories at school and I know there are a lot of people who didn’t have a similar experience. I want every kid to love school. Teachers are some of the most selfless amazing people we will ever have the honor of knowing. They are shaping minds and inspiring our little ones. They’re vastly underpaid and overworked, yet every teacher I know loves their job. Schooling has changed a lot since I was in the public school system. Testing is being introduced at younger ages, homework has gotten more intense, expectations from our kids is greater and competition is fierce. Finding a way to make all of that appealing and enticing is really hard. That’s why it’s so important for our schools to have the ability to offer project based learning – holding the interest of our kids and making learning fun. It’s important for them to have art programs, music classes and enrichment in school. They need more!!
Every night when I tuck the boys in bed to say goodnight we talk about a favorite thing that they did or that happened during the day. My boys usually have a story about school in theirs. It warms my heart that they love their teachers and their school mates and enjoy their time there. Don’t get me wrong, there are mornings where “I don’t want to go to school” happens, but it’s not often. Most of the time I’m being asked to pack an extra snack for a classmate who likes the chips I send, or a don’t forget to sign my permission slip and read the parent notices in the folders reminder. I hope that continues until they’re in college!
Pay it forward early this week and learn more about #BestSchoolDay and see if a school you know is requesting assistance for a project and donate at http://www.donorschoose.org/