Archive for the 'Donors Choose' category

Donors Choose: "that doesn't make sense!" (#donorschoose)

Nov 04 2010 Published by under Donors Choose

A few evenings ago PalKid surprised me with the fact that MrsPal was born very close to the time Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed (I wasn't surprised by the fact, but by her knowledge of it).  I asked her if she knew who MLK was, and she said, "Not really."  I started to sketch it out in terms a first grader might understand, telling her the story of Rosa Parks, a woman I was fortunate enough to have met.  As I explained to her that Ms Parks would not give up her seat to a white passenger and was arrested, PalKid said, "That doesn't make sense!"  I explained it in a few more ways but she couldn't understand such insanity.

A free society remains free only if its populace is educated.  When education is tied to wealth, democracy becomes plutocracy.  Segregation doesn't make sense if you favor freedom over servitude. That public schools, the base of our democracy, must rely on charities for essential supplies just doesn't make sense if you favor democracy over plutocracy.  But until we can fix the our schools, we must help them, and that's what Donors Choose does so effectively.  It allows teachers to identify pressing needs and donors to pick projects that they agree are worthy.

The yearly Donors Choose challenge is drawing to a close.  Hewlett-Packard is going to match donations, so every dollar you give makes a difference.  Our current 29 donors have reached nearly 900 kids.  While the total amount we raise is important, participation is as well.  I'd love to see that 29 grow to 50, even through 1-5 dollar donations.  There are several worthy projects in impoverished Michigan schools.  Please help.

3 responses so far

Donors Choose (#donorschoose)

Oct 27 2010 Published by under Donors Choose

Guess what?  There's a great project on my list that's less than $50 away from completion.  You guys have been great, but it's been awhile since we funded a project.  remember, even small donations go a very long way ($1-$5 is great).  Thanks in advance.  Let's get this one done, and move on to the next.

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Donors Choose---time to get back to work (#donorschoose)

Oct 25 2010 Published by under Donors Choose

The Donors Choose challenge that you've been participating in has been doing great.  We've raised a ton of money for projects for needy kids in Michigan (estimated reach this year is over 430 kids).

But the challenge will be over in about two weeks, and some of the projects will be expiring soon.  This one for example, will purchase audiobook equipment.  They need $241 more, and they need it soon.  Maybe we can make these kids happy in the next 18  hours?

One response so far

Donors Choose project needs urgent help (#donorschoose)

Oct 21 2010 Published by under Donors Choose

Reader and Donors Choose booster Jenny just posted this in a comment. I'm elevating it so that hopefully we can help these kids before the clock stops: Continue Reading »

3 responses so far

Donors Choose: Kids in Flint need your help

Oct 20 2010 Published by under Donors Choose

Since Roger & Me documented the devastation of Flint, MI over two decades ago, things have gotten even worse.  More than a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line.

But people try to survive, and one of Flint's teachers is trying to help. She's trying to purchase basic math and science supplies for her kids, kids whose families are often too busy trying to stay fed and housed to worry about non-immediately-vital needs like education.  One of our most successful donors suggested we bump this project up the list, as it will expire in a few weeks.  It will take another $411 to get this classroom the needed supplies.  Even very small donations---$1-$5---make a big difference, and history has shown my readers able to round up a lot of money in small donations.  Still, it's a lot of money.  Maybe we can get this one done before Friday?

3 responses so far

Donors Choose

Oct 19 2010 Published by under Donors Choose

Once again, I'm amazed by the generosity of my readers.  The huge project you funded which will give science supplies to an inner city school was finished just in time, and the giving frenzy was sparked by a very small donation.  Small donations can do this---they become a nidus for more giving and from a moral standpoint are at least as good large donations.

The other thing that amazes me is that we (you, me, Scientopia readers) are doing really well in our competition with other groups of science bloggers.  We are only a little bit behind mega-groups ScienceBlogs and DiscoverBlogs.    The best thing about the contest is that kids win no matter what.

So keep the donations coming, especially the smaller ones.   And here's a great project for the donations: a teacher in an inner city school wants an aquarium so that her kids can observe  frog growth and development.  As a fellow blogger has pointed out, there are some significant successes out there in education.  We can help build on these successes by helping talented, creative teachers elevate our children.

So, $224 by tomorrow will help another teacher help her kids.  That helps all of us.

2 responses so far

Donors Choose: Project urgently needs help

Oct 18 2010 Published by under Donors Choose

Update: You did it! Thanks to several donations, large and small, there will be a fully functioning hands-on science classroom! You made my day, but more important, you made a lot of days for a lot of kids. A special thanks to Jenny, who set off this challenge. --PalMD

Update: you guys have once again really helped out. But there's still another $434 to go, and only six days left. Even a dollar makes a difference.

You folks have done wonders in the short time our challenge has been running. You've helped to fully fund projects that reach hundreds of students. The donations have been of all sizes and each one has had a significant impact.

A donor this evening brought to my attention a project in particularly urgent need. There are only 7 days left to get this project fully funded or the challenge will expire. This is a big project, and it's going to take some work on our part. The idea is essentially to equip an inner city classroom with a hands-on science curriculum. It's an expensive project, but the materials will be available for around 90 kids each year.

Some of my favorite projects have been funded, thanks to you, and these kids are really lucky. Let's see if we can get a bunch of young folks fired up about science, and education in general. This blog gets hundreds of hits each day, and if even a small number of you leave small donations (1-5 bucks) we can get there pretty quickly.

Michigan schools are in miserable shape, which means Michigan kids are suffering. Please?

5 responses so far

Donors Choose Update

Oct 15 2010 Published by under Donors Choose

I'm overwhelmed by the generosity of my readers.    You've completed several projects, most of which are multi-year and benefit a substantial number of students in schools and homes with very limited resources.  What do you guys think about this one?  It really caught my eye as being incredibly cool.

The classroom is in Detroit, and the teacher wants to take the kids to a farm, milk cows, and make cheese.  This is such an exciting hands on science project.  I think it would be great if we could put together the last $236 $200 for these kids before the weekend.  All it takes is a few small donations.  We've had some large donors, for which I'm thankful, but the small donations ($2, $5, $10) add up very quickly.  There are a lot of people stopping by this blog.  A short detour to drop off a couple of (tax-deductible) bucks would really help some kids out.

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Donors Choose Update

Oct 14 2010 Published by under Donors Choose

You guys have been doing great.  Mostly through small donations, you've fully funded two projects reaching 146 students (and many more as most of these projects can be used every year).  It's time to pony up a bit more. This literacy project only needs $111 to get kids out of the 20th century.  Right now, they are stuck with cassette tapes for listening to books.  The teacher is trying to get them MP3 players, which will certainly allow for a larger selection of books.  Maybe we can get it done by breakfast and give those kids a nice surprise before the weekend?

2 responses so far

Donors Choose Update

Oct 13 2010 Published by under Donors Choose


You did it! Thanks so much! We've fully funded this project!

Stay tuned for the next challenge. It didn't require large donations to reach hundreds of kids, so browse the other programs and we'll talk tomorrow.

OK, folks, exactly TWO of you have helped out Michigan schoolkids in need.  And I'm cool with that (thanks, Mom!).

But some of these projects are so inexpensive, and can reach so many kids, it's worth considering asking you guys to kick in just a couple of bucks.  I'm not even going to mention higher giving levels; the economy is horrible.  But if you can spare even 1-5 dollars, they add up quickly.  One of the literacy projects only needs $43 $38 $28 more to go live.  Why don't we focus on finding $43 $38 $28 before lunchtime tomorrow.  Please?  I'd love to see it happen with small donations so that we can all feel like we helped out.

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