Starting September 4 and continuing until Dan's birthday on October 6, the DJP Memorial Fund is partnering with DonorsChoose to fund 33 projects that honor the things and places Dan loved.
Overbook High School
We purchased yard line markers and scrimmage vests for high school students at Overbook High School in Philadelphia, where nearly all students come from low-income households.
Mr. Ivory writes that football radically changed his own life, and he believes that by engaging his students in team sports (specifically football), they will learn discipline, structure, and a sense of community and fellowship. Playing football teaches students how to achieve a common goal by working with another.
Mr. Ivory believes that sports can change lives, and he feels obligated to give back to those who need it most. Supplying field markers and practice vests will allow his students to participate in organized practices.
Thomas Mifflin Elementary School
We purchased sensory mats, an area rug, a sensory bin, a sensory cushion, sensory sand, and sensory toys for the therapy room at Thomas Mifflin Elementary in Philadelphia, where nearly all students come from low-income households.
Mrs. Stinger writes that her therapy room needs help meeting the needs of her students this year. Students from kindergarten through 8th grade come to this room for occupational therapy. These amazing students deserve a space that makes them feel supported and confident in their abilities as they learn new skills.
An area rug will not only make the room more inviting but will also give kids a safe space to sit and move around outside of their chairs. The sensory bin materials will allow students to regulate their bodies while working on fine motor and visual motor skills. The tactile discs will be used on the floor and on lap trays to provide sensory input to our students who are ambulatory and in wheelchairs. These items will enrich the educational environments of many deserving students!
Rogers Park Middle School
We purchased graphic novels and books dealing with both contemporary and historical crises for middle school students at Rogers Park Middle School in Danbury, CT, where more than half of students come from low-income households.
Mrs. Dubson writes that even her reluctant students or students who struggle with stamina are enticed by striking visuals and plot points in graphic novels and books. She requested books that address the Holocaust, Hurricane Katrina, and gun violence.
The titles she selected represent a host of issues that students will have to weigh. As students read, they will be considering, “where do I stand on this issue” and “what might I have done if I was in their shoes?” Keeping her classroom library stocked with these high-interest, thought-provoking books will ensure her students will not only become more avid readers, but they will become more empathetic community members dance global citizens.
Stephen Decatur Elementary School
We purchased bulletin board decorations for ESOL students (English for speakers of other languages) to beautify their classroom at Stephen Decatur Elementary School in Philadelphia, where nearly all students come from low-income households.
Ms. Jarema writes that her students come from diverse backgrounds and many have experienced significant hardship. She wants her students to feel welcome and at home in their classroom. The bulletin board paper, diverse cardboard cutouts, and diversity language decorations will be used to create a safe and supportive environment for students to share their cultures and celebrate their backgrounds.
Ms. Jarema hopes that her students feel excited about learning English. Her classroom will foster a sense of community among her students and make their transition easier.