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.
We purchased supplies for sixth-grade students at Tuckerton Elementary (New Jersey) to hold a mock election featuring their favorite literary figures. Mr. Cerullo is the students' teacher and writes that students of all ages should recognize the importance of voting and letting their voices be heard. Through his literary election project, students will learn about the importance of voting, civil rights, citizenship, and the election process—from the primaries to election night.
Students will elect literary figures from two groups: the picture book category and the chapter book/novel category. Students will vote for each through the "primaries" to find a winner from each group. The class will then design buttons and posters, as well as give speeches and engage in debates between the characters. Students will record videos and hang posters throughout the school. On Election Day all students in the school will vote.
"Thank you for your support in helping to bring the Literary Election to life! In upcoming week, my students will recommend, campaign, and vote for literary characters taking them from the primaries to election day. As students learn about the ins and outs of the election process, it will mirror the actual election that is occurring. They will learn the importance of voting and the power they have as a citizen of the United States. Thank you for making this happen!"
Have a great election, Tuckerton!
We purchased alphabet flashcards and laminated letters for kindergartners at Potter-Thomas Promise Academy in Philadelphia, where nearly all students come from low-income households. Many of these students are learning English as a second language, and their teacher writes that they work extra hard to keep up with the rest of the city.
These kindergartners will be starting school at home this year, and Ms. Reiley notes that using flashcards and tracing letters will help students learn the alphabet—the most important step in learning to read. She plans on using laminating pouches to make more educational materials and will laminate their names and make name puzzles. She believes that reading is fundamental to getting a good start in education.
"Thank you for supporting kindergarten students learning at home. We are thankful for kind people like you. Sincerely, Ms. Reiley"
Have a great year, Potter-Thomas Promise Academy!
We purchased Schoolhouse Rock 'Rock the Vote' t-shirts for third through fifth graders at East End Preparatory School in Nashville, Tennessee, where more than three-quarters of students come from low-income households. Ms. Gamble is the students' art teacher and writes that her students love school and are thankful to be in a place where they feel safe and know they are loved.
Students will receive a 'Rock the Vote' t-shirt to bring awareness to voting and voting rights. Each student will then record a thirty-second video while wearing the shirt and reciting a poem about voting. East End Prep will share the videos on their social media accounts and encourage families to share it on theirs. The video will be used to inspire families and the school's community to go out and vote.
"Thank you for your support with this initiative. My students and I are excited to receive the t-shirts to create our civics video about voting. We are going to wear out shirts with pride as we give information about voting to the community. Once again we truly thank you. — Ms. Gamble"
We are proud to support Ms. Gamble and her students!
We purchased outdoor playground equipment to enhance STEM and social/emotional learning for third to sixth grade students at Mount Penn Elementary School in Reading, Pennsylvania, where more than half of students come from low-income households. Mrs. Bentley is the students' teacher and writes that twenty-five percent of their students require specially designed instruction. The goal of her project is to provide supplementary learning to her students while they play.
To encourage students to explore nature and practice scientific research, Mrs. Bentley asked for magnifying glasses and tape measures. She also requested sports equipment so the students can play soccer, basketball, dodgeball, and football. Students will learn social skills, such as taking turns, following rules and directions, and controlling their emotions. Students will also receive fitness cubes and stop watches for those who want to pursue cardio exercise. Students will be able to track their activity times and see how they progress.
The ultimate goal is for students to run, play, jump, tumble, fall, and get back up again to play some more. In addition to exercise, they will experience friendly competition, learn teamwork, and engage in meaningful play.
"On behalf of the students at Mount Penn Elementary, we thank you for the incredible donation towards new recess equipment. Recess will look very different when we are back in school with Social Distancing guidelines, so having these material is crucial to our outside play. Thank you again for your generous donation!"
Have a great school year, Mount Penn!
We purchased supplies to promote self-care and healing for high school students at El Centro de Estudiantes High School in Philadelphia, where nearly all students come from low-income households and many have been impacted by gun violence. This alternative high school is for students who are overage and under-credited. Ms. Cat is the students' teacher and writes that many of her students face issues of poverty, food/home insecurity, teen pregnancy/parenthood, and underfunded social resources. They have made the choice to finish their education, despite these barriers.
Ms. Cat prioritizes socio-emotional health alongside academics, with an aim to create real-world learning opportunities. Normally the class relies on photocopies or library copies of reading material, but with virtual learning, Ms. Cat wants to ensure that her students are developing their literacy skills. She requested a class set of Long Way Down, a book by Jason Reynolds. She writes that Reynolds is a favorite author among the kids, and anytime she has shared an excerpt from this book, her students are heavily intrigued and interested.
To help address trauma from gun violence (a student was a victim of gun violence only a few weeks ago), Ms. Cat's advisory students requested essential oil diffusers and Rubik's Cubes. These tools will help students focus, build on problem solving skills, and improve their design thinking. Ms. Cat describes her project as "one-part healing, and one-part literacy-resistance of the dominant narrative."
"You helped us reach our goal! We are so humbled by your deep generosity. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and care. This will be the best news to share with our kids; they will be excited to transform their at-home virtual learning spaces into nurturing educational corners. Thank you, again."
Have a great year, Ms. Cat!
We purchased yarn to help make small, handmade dolls for students who have sensory needs or are feeling overwhelmed during the school day at Warwick Elementary School in Bucks County. Mrs. Sleicher is the school counselor and writes that these tools will help little learners (and older ones with sensory needs) focus as they learn.
Research shows that holding a soft object or petting an animal can lower blood pressure and heart rate and increase positive feelings. Mrs. Sleicher writes that she typically lends students who are having a hard day a fidget toy, stuffy, or something to hold; however, this is no longer possible with COVID. She believes that these yarn toys can simulate these feelings. When students feel positive and safe while learning in school or at home, they are more invested in learning and more likely to retain what they've learned.
Mrs. Sleicher writes, "Thank you so very much for donating to my cause! My students are going to love these little yarn dolls! I’m happy I can share some comfort with them, as hugs are off limits! I truly appreciate your thoughtfulness!"
We are proud to support this local school and wish Warwick Elementary a happy, safe school year!
We purchased supplies for 10th-12th grade students in Mrs. Jeffries's Resource Special Education classes at International High School in Paterson, New Jersey, a Title I school where nearly all students come from low-income households. 100% of Mrs. Jeffries's students have educational disabilities that require support and individualized instruction to increase access to a general education. Each student has an individualized education program (IEP).
Although hands-on learning is currently inaccessible to her students, Mrs. Jeffries wants to provide a positive and inspiring online learning experience. Besides general school supplies, Mrs. Jeffries requested books, including Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and A Good Kind of Trouble. These books will allow her students to think, write, and have rich discussions about issues pertaining to their own experiences. With these supplies, her students can also have a critical understanding of issues happening in the world today, even while receiving a virtual education.
We are proud to support Mrs. Jeffries and her students!
We purchased basketball training equipment, skill enhancement kits, and weighted basketballs for the girls' basketball team at William Penn High School in York, Pennsylvania, where more than three-quarters of students from low-income households. The team currently lacks the necessary equipment needed to gain the skills they need to compete effectively.
Ms. Ostrom is the students' teacher and writes that being part of a team gives her students hope and a sense of belonging in the face of trying circumstances. It also helps to build their confidence, create friendships, and improve focus on school studies.
Ms. Ostrom writes, "We are so excited to be able to provide our girls with this great practice equipment. The school year has been rough so far; they are away from school and attending school virtually. They are looking forward to the basketball season and this will be wonderful. It will show them how much girls' basketball matters."
Have a great year, ladies!
We purchased water bottles for middle school students at Port Norris Middle School in New Jersey, where nearly all students come from low-income households. Ms. Thomson writes that many of her students rely on water fountains to stay hydrated throughout the day, but she worries about their risk during COVID-19. By having their own water bottles, students will feel safer while at school and can focus on their studies.
We wish Ms. Thomson and her students a healthy school year!
We helped purchase lesson plans, noise-canceling headphones, and a printer for Mrs. Gordon, an elementary-school-based speech language pathologist at Jamison Elementary School in Bucks County. Mrs. Gordon works with children in kindergarten through sixth grade with various communication needs. Her caseload includes sixty-plus students with autism, learning disabilities, and/or speech language disorders. Her therapies improve receptive/expressive language skills, stuttering, articulation, and social-language skills.
Mrs. Gordon is working to provide her students with online resources to continue their work via teletherapy during the 2020-2021 school year. She requested a gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers, a website that provides numerous lesson plans that can be used with a virtual platform, as well as in-person learning. Mrs. Gordon also requested noise-canceling headphones to better allow her to hear the speech sounds that her students are producing. These headphones will also reduce background noise and increase students' ability to hear her (especially those with hearing impairments or articulation disorders). Finally, Mrs. Gordon requested a printer to create interactive games and materials that target students' individual goals.
"Thank you so much for your donation to my speech-language students! I am beyond grateful for your support. By the way, I grew up in Richboro!" --Carrie Gordon
We are proud to support this local school and wish them a happy, healthy school year!
We purchased toys and games to create individual recess kits for kindergarteners at Shawnee Elementary School in Xenia, Ohio, where nearly all students come from low-income households. Mrs. Chrichton is the students' teacher and writes that, due to COVID-19 and district rules, the students are not allowed to use the playground equipment during recess.
Mrs. Chrichton would like to provide each of her twelve students with a special recess bag to take out outside and enjoy. The items she requested for the bags are colorful and bright and can be organized easily into the individual kits. Each student will receive a variety of items, including sidewalk chalk, bean bags, jump rope, cones, ball games, and more.
Mrs. Chrichton wrote to us: "Thank you so very much for your generosity toward my project! My students will LOVE these fun materials to use for play at recess. I cannot wait to let them open their new supplies! I know they will be thrilled to have something fun to do outside instead of wandering around, not knowing how to play. Thank you from all of us!"
Have a great year full of fun recesses!
We purchased face masks, face shields, and thermometers for kindergarteners at Stephen Decatur Elementary in Philadelphia, where nearly all students come from low-income households.
Funding at this school has been cut significantly, and the surrounding community does not have the resources to provide external support. These supplies will enable these kids to focus on their studies without fear of getting sick.
We wish the kindergartners at Stephen Decatur a happy, healthy school year!
We purchased books and craft supplies for first- through fourth-grade students in the autism support-intensive classroom at Samuel Everitt School in Levittown, Pennsylvania. The books will help students with their functional social skills, and the accompanying crafts will help to make the stories relatable and meaningful, all while building fine motor skills.
Ms. Dykan is the students' teacher and writes that her students are learning critical life skills everyday: how to learn, how to act at school, and how to be a friend. Some of her students are non-verbal and communicate through the use of a device. To help her students with these skills while keeping them engaged, she uses books that portray social skills alongside fine motor activities and crafts.
Due to the pandemic, Ms. Dykan's students will be attending in-person lesson four days a week and virtual school one day a week. In order to make 'Virtual Fridays' engaging and beneficial, she would like to send at-home, crafting supply kits with the students each week. Her students will create crafts related to the stories (including a series called 'What Should Danny Do?') about social skills.
These supplies will ensure that all students are able to participate in Ms. Dykan's lessons, and we are proud to support her class!
We helped purchase portable, beginner basketball hoops and mini basketballs for pre-K students at Madisonville Primary School in Tennessee. Madisonville Primary is nestled in the foothills of the Cherokee National Forest and the Smoky Mountains. It is a Title I school, with over 70% of students coming from low-income households and qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch.
Ms. Parker is the students' teacher, and her classroom operates as a Blended Preschool, serving a population of special needs students alongside their typical peers. Ms. Parker writes that her preschoolers enjoy being outside and playing with their friends. She wants to provide beginner basketball hoops to increase hand-eye coordination, improve gross motor skills problem-solving, and enable opportunities for communication among peers. Ms. Parker believes these items will allow her students to operate more independently during their free time, either outdoors or indoors.
We are proud to support Ms. Parker and her preschoolers and wish them a safe, healthy school year!
We helped purchase 'HotSpot' circuit and exercise training station markers and programs for students at Trenton's 9th Grade Academy in Trenton, New Jersey, where more than three-quarters of students come from low-income households. Ms. Dice is the students' PE teacher and notes that these markers will allow students the opportunity to participate in PE, even while remaining socially distant.
Ms. Dice writes that many of her students do not have safe areas around their homes to try out new activities after school or throughout the summer months. To maintain social distancing and create opportunities for meaningful activities, Ms. Dice intends to set up fitness 'stations' within the gymnasium that will allow her students to exercise individually or in small groups and teams. Ms. Dice has requested twelve different sets of HotSpots, including cardio, exercise balls, jump rope, yoga, pilates, hoops, and calisthenics.
We are excited to support Ms. Dice and her students and wish her a happy, healthy school year!
We helped purchase flexible seating options for Ms. Sharrett's multi-disabilities classroom at Valerie Pre-K-6 School in Dayton, Ohio, where nearly all students come from low-income households. Students will have the option to sit, rock, or bounce to help them focus and feel safe in their classroom.
Ms. Sharrett describes her students as having unique and beautiful abilities. She wants to create an environment that promotes and reaches all types of learners. Now that each student has to remain in their 'area' due to COVID, Ms. Sharrett believes that these seating options will be invaluable to her students' success.
We wish Ms. Sharrett and her students the best of luck for a safe and healthy school year!
We purchased virtual therapy materials for elementary school students with speech and language impairments at Oxford Valley Elementary School in Fairless Hills, PA. Ms. McDonald is the speech-language pathologist at OVES and is working to provide the best possible virtual speech and language therapy services to students while they're at home.
Ms. McDonald meets with her students each week and is seeking interactive, updated, and innovative materials that can supplement her move to teletherapy. We purchased a gift card to 'Teachers Pay Teachers,' a website that allows teachers around the country to share and sell materials that they created. This website will allow Ms. McDonald to access thousands of speech and language materials that she can use for the benefit of both her students and their parents.
"Thank you so much for helping me fund my project! The students I work with will absolutely LOVE the new and exciting materials I will be able to purchase with the TPT gift card during this time of virtual learning. Your kindness and generosity mean so much. Thank you again!
We are proud to support this local school and wish Ms. McDonald a safe and healthy school year!
We purchased flexible seating options, including lap desks, chair balls, and sensory circles, for kindergarten students at Jamison Elementary School in Bucks County. These adaptations will benefit all types of learners and enable students to collaborate more easily.
Ms. Vehling is the students' teacher, and she anticipates that her class might have a difficult time adjusting to a COVID-conscious classroom. Flexible seating will make Ms. Vehling's classroom more relaxing and comfortable.
We are proud to support this local classroom and wish Ms. Vehling and her students the best of luck for their school year!
We purchased school supplies for elementary school students at Imagine Klepinger Road Community School in Dayton, Ohio, where nearly all students come from low-income households.
Ms. Lewis is the students' teacher and describes how education will look different this year. Students will be attending school in a hybrid format, and sharing is not necessarily caring. In the past students in her class relied on the generosity of peers and teachers, but now both students and teachers have to be careful not to expose each other to the virus.
Ms. Lewis wants to provide personal products, such as writing utensils and notebooks, to prevent and/or limit the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. The notebooks will allow students to stay more organized and can be used to supplement their partially distant learning. Having their own supplies will allow students to seamlessly participate in this hybrid setting from either home or school.
Ms. Lewis writes, "Words can not express the gratitude that flows from my heart. Thank you for your graciousness during this hard time. Our students still deserve the best; with these great resources, success is the only option. Thank you a million times, your donations will not go to waste. Please continue the work you do.
Have a great school year, Ms. Lewis!
We helped purchase a subscription to News-2-You for students in an autistic support classroom at Hill-Freedman World Academy in Philadelphia, where nearly all students come from low-income households. News-2-You is a platform that delivers literacy content via current events using high-interest, relatable stories with visually supported text on a digital platform for students with special needs.
Ms. Warfield is the students' teacher and says she is constantly inspired by her students. Ms. Warfield describes how high school special education programs designed for students with complex needs focus on functional academics, interpersonal communication, life-skills activities, and pre-vocational work tasks. News-2-You provides technology-based platforms so that educators can provide age-appropriate educational content to enrich the intervention programs of students with autism and other complex learning needs. These programs vary from standards-based core content, to augmentative communication supports, to modified current event newspapers.
Ms. Warfield writes that she especially likes News-2-You because it allows her secondary-level students access to inclusive stories with age-appropriate materials. Her students will use differentiated reading passages and comprehension questions that encourage a focus on important details during reading tasks.
Ms Warfield sent us this note: "We want to thank you so much for your generosity. I can't begin to tell you what it means to me to be able to provide current events to my students with accessible products from n2y.com ! Again, thank you, and we will send you pictures after we get the digital subscription set-up to show you what we've done! Our classroom is a better place because of your awesome contribution.
Ms. Warfield, staff, students, and families"
We are proud to support Ms. Warfield and her students!
We helped students at Anne Chesnutt Middle School in Fayetteville, North Carolina, start a sports broadcast team to learn about journalism and reporting. Three-quarters of students at Anne Chesnutt come from low-income households.
Ms. Michaelis teaches a computer coding class at this school. She finds that students are especially motivated to learn when they can do projects that are hands-on, interesting, and allow for presentations to the larger school community.
Ms. Michaelis is requesting an iPad for her students to take to home games and capture highlights for their news broadcast. She hopes that not only will current students expand their skillset and become interested in a new profession, she also anticipates that this additional offering will generate more interest in her computer science class.
We wish Ms. Michaelis and her students luck on their new venture!
We purchased books for sixth to eighth graders at Horizon Science Academy in Dayton, Ohio, where more than three-quarters of students come from low-income households. Mrs. Branson teaches English Language Arts at Horizon Science, and she writes that her students often struggle with reading and writing. Mrs. Branson wants her students to embrace reading as enjoyment, not a chore.
To set her students up for success, Mrs. Branson sets aside individual reading time for each student as part of their everyday routine. Students can choose to read whatever they want during this time. Mrs. Branson also works hard to improve her students' writing skills so that they will be successful in writing resumes, applying to higher education opportunities, and filling out job applications.
Mrs. Branson notes that her students do not have access to many books at home, especially books with diverse characters and plots. She would like to build a classroom library that reflects her students' experiences. Some of the titles Mrs. Branson requested include Other Words for Home, Brown Girl Dreaming, The Season of Styx Malone, Can You See Me?, From the Desk of Zoe Washington, Bayou Magic, Blended, Swing (Blink), The Poet X, and Black Girls Like Me.
Dayton was a special place to Dan, and we are proud to support Mrs. Branson and her readers.
We purchased supplies to create an in-classroom basketball game for Mrs. Goodrich's fourth grade students at Interdistrict Discovery Magnet School in Bridgeport, Connecticut. One out of every three students in Bridgeport lives in poverty, and 100% of students at this Title I school receive free lunch.
Last year one of Mrs. Goodrich's students brought in his over-the-door basketball hoop and ball. Students played a half-court game whenever there was indoor recess. Mrs. Goodrich writes that the kids had a ton of fun.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, Mrs. Goodrich wanted to devise a socially distant version of the same game. With her new over-the-door hoop (purchased!), she plans to put painter's tape (also purchased!) on the floor to space students. The students will practice shots from different distances, and each tape color will represent a different point value. Mrs. Goodrich plans to use this game as a learning incentive--if you answer a question correctly, you get a two-shot opportunity. If you participate in the discussion, you earn a two-shot opportunity. Helping a friend? Demonstrating manners? You got it--two-shot opportunities. Mrs. Goodrich believes this activity will not only improve the hand-eye coordination of her students, but it will also build their confidence.
Mrs. Goodrich also requested pinnies so that her students can reinstate their half-court games when it is safe to do so. She writes to us:
"I am very happy that my students will have some fun getting up and moving with your donation! It has been tough thinking of no-touch, distanced activities geared for this period in time. I am looking forward to sanitary free throws in class.
The products you have donated are well made and will last. I know, once we are able to play contact games again, the students will enjoy mini half-court play during indoor recess in the winter months.
Thank you for making the coming school days a bit brighter!
This project stood out to us because the Parzych kids had a similar set-up (KOOSH!) in their basement growing up, and our competition was fierce.
We wish Mrs. Goodrich and her students the best!
We helped purchase new volleyball jerseys for middle school girls at Juniata Park Academy in Philadelphia, a Title One School in which 95% of students come from low-income households and 100% of students receive free lunch.
Mr. Stepansky, the volleyball coach and health/PE teacher, writes that volleyball increases the girls' hand-eye coordination, agility, and sportsmanship, as well as their self-esteem, self-confidence, and teamwork.
The Academy has nine, interscholastic sports teams, but the district, school, and individual students lack the funding to purchase needed equipment. The team is currently wearing jerseys that have permanent dirt and sweat stains from years of use. Coach Stepansky writes that the new jerseys will allow his players to feel better about themselves and give them the confidence to play even better.
Mr. Stepansky wrote to us, "with funding for athletics being cut it is wonderful that people care, and it does take a community to raise a child."
We are proud to support Mr. Stepanksy and his students.
We purchased bean bag chairs for autistic kindergarteners at Jamison Elementary School in Bucks County, PA. Mrs. Ritts writes that her students come to her classroom throughout the day for academic, social, and behavioral instruction. She wants to provide a safe and comfortable environment for her students
This school year represents a departure from past routines, and having this designated area will provide students a retreat when they're feeling overwhelmed or frustrated throughout the day. Mrs. Ritts believes the bean bags will allow her students to have an area to relax, take a break, and feel safe when they need it.
We are proud to support this local classroom and wish Mrs. Ritts and her students a healthy and productive school year!
We helped purchase sneeze guards, face masks, and non-contact thermometers for Mrs. Vagnozzi's class at Widener Memorial School in Philadelphia. Mrs. Vagnozzi teaches physically disabled and cognitively delayed students, and most of her class comes from low-income households.
Mrs. Vagnozzi writes that it is rare for her students to miss school, even when they are sick.
Students learn best when they are healthy, and Mrs. Vagnozzi wants to provide teachers access to the tools they need to determine whether a child is healthy enough to be in school.
Mrs. Vagnozzi wrote to us, "[...] my heart goes out to you for donating to my class in Daniel's name. I have two sons, my own Chris and Daniel, and it just adds so much to your donation that you share the same names!! I worry about children who are sick and no one notices. I want to ensure that each student is well enough to participate in my class. God bless you for thinking of us in Daniel's name!!"
Have a great school year, Widener!
We helped purchase healthy snacks for second-grade students at Andrew J. Morrison Elementary to eat in class or take home. Nearly all students come from low-income households at this Philadelphia school, and many students struggle with language barriers, lack of access to supplies, and/or disabilities.
Ms. Kohr writes that despite these challenges, her students come to school every day enthusiastic and ready to learn.
Ms. Kohr believes that a positive and peaceful environment is crucial to allowing her students' minds to soar. She wants to keep their bellies full and their minds open.
"Thank you so much for believing in my project and my students! I want them to have access to some snacks when we do go back to in-school instruction."
Happy snacking, Second Grade!
We helped purchase equipment for Mrs. Mayhorn's elementary school students at Phelps Elementary, who are starting a video news broadcast that focuses on positive things happening throughout the school, as well as segments on lunch menus, weather, sports, and other school-related events.
Mrs. Mayhorn writes that her Head Start school is in a very rural area in the coalfields/ mountains of eastern Kentucky. She and her students have to travel 30-45 minutes to get to the closest Walmart, and many of the students who live in hollows do not have access to the internet. Mrs. Mayhorn wants to give her students a fun, comfortable, and engaging environment to come to each day.
Mrs. Mayhorn and her class were requesting a tripod, television monitor, and microphones to use with the technology they already have. Teachers at Phelps will submit positive things going on in their classrooms, and the students will in turn go out and conduct interviews. Participants will be able to practice their public speaking and learn about different elements of journalism and filmmaking.
This project was special to us because of Dan's own love of journalism. We received the following note back from Mrs. Mayhorn: "I just wanted to take this time to thank you for your generous donation! You are a true advocate for children!! This project is near and dear to my heart and will be something that my students can look forward to as we transition into in-person school over the next month. Thank you again for your donation, may you be blessed!"
Good luck, Phelps Elementary!
We helped update Ms. McGettigan's third-grade classroom's library to foster a love of reading in her students while providing opportunities for small group, hands-on, and active learning. Ms. McGettigan is a teacher at General George G Meade Elementary School, a Head Start School in Philadelphia.
Ms. McGettigan's students are moving from learning to read to reading to learn. They will be transitioning to chapter books this year, and she wants to make sure they have fun doing it. Ms. McGettigan is seeking to create 'favorite friends' for her students by obtaining serial books that help her students connect with and follow recurring characters.
Ms. McGettigan writes that her "third grade explorers will see how friends can change and grow" and in turn help her students change and grow, too. In addition to some of our own favorite childhood books (Captain Underpants, Magic Tree House, and The Boxcar Children), Ms. McGettigan has also asked for reference tools and workbooks to facilitate her students' jump to these more challenging books.
Ms. McGettigan writes, "[...] Thank you so much for this terrific support for my third grade explorers. Reading in third grade will require beginning chapter books, but it should also include fun and friends. With your gift here, we will have both friends and fun. These books will start great conversations about what it means to be a friend. Our conversations will help us become a team. We thank you loudly for this support. Please stay safe."
Enjoy your reading, Grade 3!
We helped purchase PPE for staff and special needs students in Ms. Eiseman's classroom at Samuel Fels High School in Philadelphia, where nearly all students come from low-income households. Students range from 10th-12th grade and will remain in Ms. Eiseman's classroom until they age out at 21-years-old. Her students have a range of abilities but are limited cognitively, socially, and physically.
Ms. Eiseman refers to her classroom as a family and states, "we take care of each other and work on building each other up. Our focus is on life skills and trying to become more independent individuals in our everyday lives." Ms. Eiseman is seeking items that will help create a safe learning environment, including clothing racks that will act as room dividers, cleaning items, and personal protection devices for staff and students. Ms. Eiseman notes that these items are especially important because her students are medically fragile and cannot cover their coughs and sneezes.
We wish Ms. Eiseman and her students a happy, healthy school year!
We contributed to a project for William Allen High School special needs students, who are starting a print shop to learn valuable career and financial skills. William Allen High School is a Title 1, urban school district with a diverse population in Allentown.
Mrs. James is a special education teacher at William Allen. She teaches a number of courses based in inclusion, with a focus on career readiness. Mrs. James emphasizes work-based learning opportunities for her students so they can increase their employability and obtain soft skills that will help them obtain competitive jobs when they graduate.
Mrs. James is working on an entrepreneurial, cross-curricular project that teaches her students financial literacy skills. She and her students are starting a print shop that will be used to make t-shirts, hats, masks, and other items. Students will sell these items to fundraise for the school's ongoing digital archive project of all documents, yearbooks, and newspapers, as well as to supply student clubs and teams with affordable items for their participants and the larger community.
Mrs. James writes that students will lead and develop the program by creating inventory sheets and product lists with descriptions and prices. They will also manufacture and deliver orders as they come in. Students will also 'run' the company, including but not limited to applying and interviewing for positions, such as product manager or operations manager.
Mrs. James is providing valuable learning opportunities for her students, and we are proud to support her project.
We purchased equipment for an after-school running program for sixth and seventh graders at William Meredith Elementary in Philadelphia, where nearly all students come from low-income households.
Mr. Piazza is the students' math teacher and volunteers as a running mentor and leader with a nonprofit called Students Run Philly Style. He described how running empowers his students, allowing for closer bonds among classmates and increased confidence through team activities. Mr. Piazza requested agility ladders and water bottles to better equip him and his fellow volunteers in creating pre- and post-running programs. He would like to develop students' mobility and coordination, with an ultimate goal of training students to run a half- or full marathon each year.
We wrote Mr. Piazza that we selected his project because Dan was an enthusiastic member of the track and field team in junior high and high school and valued running as exercise and stress-relief throughout adulthood. Mr. Piazza sent us the following note back:
"Thank you all for your generosity and support in funding my project! Our program provides an opportunity that has increased or maintained high levels of self confidence. Although the way we run as a group has changed, these materials will give my students an opportunity to train for long runs and stay healthy. I can't wait to show my kids everything! Again, thank you!"
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