Double down for DonorsChoose

October 24, 2008

ScienceBlogs has chimed in with a $15,000 matching kitty for the various ScienceBlogs’ participation in the Bloggers Challenge! Yay!

We are in the final week of the DrugMonkey Blog Reader Challenge. Once again, I am humbled and grateful for your generosity DearReaders. A few of you may have been thinking about playing and simply put it off, so now is the time to chip in a couple of bucks for the kids. Now, thanks to ScienceBlogs your donation will be doubled.
As mentioned, there are some small prizes to encourage you to donate here and there about the Borg.
TshirtBlack1.jpgThe OverLords:

We’ll be giving away 50 Seed mag subscriptions and about 15 or so other prizes from an assortment of mugs, laptop covers and USB drives. Each Friday we’ll choose winners for a third of the prizes. In addition, there will be one ‘grand prize’ at the end of the drive, of an iPod Touch.
For your readers to enter the drawing, all they need to do is forward their donation confirmation emails to

I’ll be randomly selecting some donors for prizes from the DrugMonkey Blog SchwagShop. Bora, ditto from his store. Sciencewomen, very nice tshirts. Chad, monkey dance and custom blogging. Janet…..well, let us just say that my official position on this is with her mom.
We have a good chance to bring home a win on the DrugMonkey Blog Reader Challenge. As of this writing, three of the five projects I chose to highlight have achieved full funding. The two remaining projects are:
Technology for Autism Classroom (16% completed; $495 needed):

I am teaching in a special education classroom, specifically serving children with autism. This classroom is a center-based, self-contained classroom with students in 3rd and 4th grades. The students in my room are severely affected by autism, and are living in a high-needs community.
Our classroom is in need of a digital camera and a color printer with accessories, to support our students need for visual structure within the classroom. We do not have easy access to a color printer or a digital camera in our school due to lack of funding. Students with autism rely on visual structure within the classroom, without access to these things it is difficult to provide accurate and real-life stimuli.

Special education. It is hard enough to educate a bunch of average children but the hurdles of educating those children with developmental or other limitations are many and varied. School systems dedicate money to their special programs but they have responsibilities to their regular classrooms as well. This is why I felt it important to select at least one special needs project for my challenge.
It’s a Small World After All (42% completed; $704 needed):

Your gift will make it possible for many students to become first time college attendees in their families. Many will be first time high school graduates as well. We have moderate poverty levels at our school site, which makes our students more socially disadvantaged than others. Our school culture would be greatly influenced by the generosity of donors because we do not have adults who model this behavior to the students. Our students are very careful with the equipment we do have because they understand the value of educational materials.

I highlight this part of the teacher request because it strikes a chord with me. Long ago I received a huge shock when playing a weekend pickup sport on the campus of a heavily Latino and ESL elementary school. It must have been a November because the windows were papered with the kids’ one page responses to the question “What are you thankful for”. The density of pages that addressed a theme of “I am thankful for a free education” was phenomenal. Something we USians take absolutely for granted; that all children will be provided with a free and high quality basic education. Even for a school which is moderate, rather than high, poverty we needs remember that not every child comes to the table with the same advantages. In this case of parents who have themselves received a high quality USian education.

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