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 adaptive art supplies for K-8 students at Martha Washington Academy, a Title I School in a high-poverty area.
Mrs. Kerins writes that she has very bright students who unfortunately have missed out on many opportunities. Mrs. Kerins would like to tap in to her students' creative side and allow them to experiment with different materials. Because of COVID, students cannot share supplies like they used to do, and Martha Washington does not have the budget to provide these supplies.
A large part of the student population at Martha Washington Academy are students with disabilities who need adaptive tools in order to achieve their maximum potential in in art class. Examples of these supplies include jumbo crayons and pencils for those students unable to grip, as well as looped scissors for those with minimal dexterity.
We are proud to support Mrs. Kerins and her students!
We helped purchase adapted curriculum materials for autistic high school students at Samuel Fels High School in Philadelphia, where nearly all students come from low-income households.
Mrs. Hatter is the students' teacher and writes that her class is a wonderful, caring, and considerate group of young people, who were thrown a curveball in their learning process. Her students have shown their school community that, even during a great challenge, they can adapt to life.
Have a current, meaningful curriculum and social, skill-related books will help Mrs. Hatter's students further their basic skills and learn to incorporate them into daily life. Autistic Support classes practice skills that may not seem so easy to identify in daily actions, such as knowing what to say or how to physically respond when confronted. They also practice skills that will enable students to hold meaningful jobs in the community or go on to post-secondary education for career training.
We are proud to support Mrs. Hatter and her students!
We purchased building materials for first graders at Jamison Elementary School (PA) to have hands-on experiences exploring their creativity and developing a passion of building and experimenting.
Ms. Vehling (another Deeds for Dan alum!) requested STEM bins and materials (building blocks, pattern blocks, plank pieces, magnets, etc.) for her classroom. These materials will allow students to complete explorations with building, balancing, creating, and morphing. The possibilities are endless! Ms. Vehling hopes these tools will help students develop passions for education, science, and exploration.
Happy building, kids!
We purchased sensory and fidget toys and liquid floor tiles for four emotional support classrooms at Eleanor Roosevelt Elementary in Morrisville, PA.
Mrs. Johnson writes that her students show up every day, despite navigating emotional difficulties. Although they have difficult days, Mrs. Johnson says her children are kind and thoughtful.
Mrs. Johnson will use these materials in her four emotional support classrooms. The school also has a sensory room where students can take breaks and have a safe place when feeling angry or frustrated. These items will allow students to better regulate their emotions on a daily basis.
We wish Mrs. Johnson and her students a fabulous school year!
We purchased quality running equipment for students' Girls on the Run Club at John Moffet Elementary in Philadelphia, where 100% of the student population is economically disadvantaged.
Mr. DeMeno writes that the families and neighbors at his school are close and supportive. They have a diverse student body dedicated to becoming lifelong learners and productive citizens. The 'Girls on the Run' club is one of the most popular clubs at school. Each year girls who participate routinely see a boost in their grades, leadership abilities, and fitness levels.
The club is requesting warm and breathable attire for them to use during the fall and winter months. We are proud to support Mr. DeMeno and the runners of John Moffit!
We helped purchase a coffee cart, coffee, coffee cups, and tea to allow special education students at Samuel Fels High School in Philadelphia to practice vocational skills in a school setting.
Ms. McAllister teaches transition skills. The majority of her students are in low-incidence special education classes (life skills support or autistic support) and are between the ages of 18-21. She focuses on essential independent living skills to support their transition from high school to adulthood, with a focus on readiness skills. Ms. McAllister's school is limited in terms of resources and materials.
Ms. McAllister's proposal is to have her students take part in vocational training by opening a coffee cart. Students will sort materials, take orders, prepare coffee, serve coffee, make change, count money, and budget. Not only that, they will integrate into the school community while learning essential job skills. The opportunity for students to practice classroom-learned skills in a realistic scenario is truly incredible.
Ms. McAllister wrote to us:
"Thank you so much for your support!! You won't believe this but I knew Dan growing up!! What an amazing way to honor such a great person. I'm even more excited to start this project with my students now. Thank you thank you :)"
We purchased soccer goals and balls for third through fifth graders at Francis Scott Key Elementary in Philadelphia, where nearly all students come from low-income households.
Ms. B. writes that her students are economically disadvantaged, and many are in the U.S. for the very first time. Her students are special because they are eager to learn and try new games and activities. These materials will enable Ms. B. to give her students choices in terms of the equipment they use to learn skills. She can even use the goals for multiple sports--soccer, hockey, and lacrosse.
Have a great year, Ms. B.!
We purchased wobble chairs, kitchen supplies, and cleaning tools for life skills support students in grades 3-5 at William H Hunter Elementary in North Philadelphia, where nearly all students come from low-income households.
Ms. Monford teaches 20 students who vary in age from 10-12 years old. Her program allows students to work on functional academics, social skills, and vocational learning opportunities. In the life skills classroom, students work on domestic maintenance and independent living skills. They work on tasks such as being able to follow recipes, doing laundry, and cleaning up the house.
The kitchen tools Ms. Monford's class have currently are extremely old, rusted, and no longer usable. Providing new equipment will allow students to execute domestic maintenance tasks. Furthermore, seating and positioning plays a key role in how engaged and focused children are in the classroom, so purchasing wiggle stools and wobble cushions will help them stay focused and help those children with sensory processing issues.
Happy learning, Ms. Monford and students!
We purchased safety equipment to help high school students participate in school sports, eliminate injuries, and promote participation at Horace Furness High School in Philadelphia, where nearly all students come form low-income households.
Ms. Hanna writes that her students are very special people who have already endured hardships in their young lives. Many of her students have immigrated from war-torn countries and/or refugee camps. She has students from 15 countries who speak 20 different languages. Her students are hard workers, fast learners, and they deserve the best she can give them.
Ms. Hanna writes that the diversity of her school allows her U.S.-born students to bond with students who are culturally different from themselves--an experience that most schools can't provide. As a coach, Ms. Hanna believes it is her responsibility to provide her students with every opportunity to participate in sports. Most of the student sin her district cannot afford the necessary safety equipment--knee pads, shin guards, etc.
Being able to provide this safety equipment for her students will allow Ms. Hanna to increase participation and promote inclusion among her students, regardless of their financial situation.
We are proud to support Ms. Hanna's students and wish them a happy, healthy year!
We purchased books and magazines for Pre-K students at Richard Allen Prep in Dayton, Ohio, where nearly all students come from low-income households.
Ms. Kipker writes that her students are eager to learn. They cannot wait to learn their numbers and letters. They love signing the alphabet and the color song. They are learning routines and expectations and enjoy being read to by their teacher; however, Ms. Kipker currently does not have books/magazines for her students, and many do not have access to materials at home.
With these new books, Ms. Kipker will be able to provide her students with an array of books that will allow them to explore at an age-appropriate level and foster a lifelong love of reading.
We purchased dodgeballs and yarn balls for third through fifth graders at Roberto Clemente Elementary in Allentown, where nearly all students come from low-income households.
Mr. Seibert writes that his students are full of energy and excited to express themselves through movement and physical exercise. Gym class is a time where his students are able to forget their daily struggles and have fun. Mr. Seibert writes that the dodgeballs and yarn balls are a safe way for his students to practice throwing and catching and move their bodies throughout their 40 minute class.
Mr. Seibert's students deserve the best of the best, and we're proud to support them!
We purchased raised plant beds and an outdoor garden supply box for middle schoolers in an autistic support classroom at Feltonville School for Arts and Sciences in Philadelphia, where nearly all students come from low-income households.
Mrs. Strausser teaches autistic support to grades six through eight. She writes that her students are hardworking and wonderfully sweet, but she also worries that her special needs students have been hit especially hard by pandemic isolation.
In the past Mrs. Strausser and her students have grown flowers outside but have always wanted to have a vegetable garden. This year Mrs. Strausser and her students will be working regularly to grow plants in their hydroponic garden and would like to be able to transfer their plants into an outside garden come spring. These supplies will help this dream come to fruition!
Happy planting, Mrs. Strausser and students!
We helped purchase a washing machine for students with intellectual disabilities aged 18-21 at Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia, where nearly all students come from low-income households.
Mrs. Barrett is the students' life skills teacher and writes that her focus is preparing students to transition from high school into the workforce. She wants to help her students live as independently as possible. These skills include things many of us take for granted, such as doing laundry or filling our a job application. Some of Mrs. Barrett's students may never read in the traditional sense, but they have learned to read universal signs and symbols to navigate the world.
Mrs. Barrett's students go out in the community to learn how to use public transportation, grocery shop, volunteer at a local food bank and other cooperating businesses. Her students never give up, even when it might take them longer to learn a new skill. The school's washing machine is no longer working, and there are no funds to replace it. COVID has prevented students from traveling to a laundromat, so Mrs. Barrett fears many of her students are not learning the many skills that go into completing laundry--sorting, measuring, reading care labels, or simply operating a washing machine.
During domestic maintenance periods, Mrs. Barrett's students use step-by-step instructions to follow recipes to make a meal and complete kitchen clean-up, including washing dish towels, napkins, and clothing. Some of their school-based jobs are washing uniforms for the school's Special Olympics teams and aprons and towels for the culinary department. This machine will help students to learn to live more independently.
We are so proud to support Mrs. Barrett and her students!
We purchased recess equipment for special education students in kindergarten through fifth grade at Add B Anderson Elementary in Philadelphia, where nearly all students come from low-income households.
Ms. Sweeney is a learning support teacher at this Title I school, in which all students are eligible to receive free lunch. Her students are hardworking and eager to learn. They have just returned to school full-time in-person, and their school lacks a playground, so students play outside on a large lot. Because her students have been working so hard, Ms. Sweeney would like to give them some recess equipment so they can enjoy time with their friends.
We hope these balls and jump ropes will help! Have a great school year!
We purchased baseball gloves, batting gloves, face masks, and baseball shirts for middle school students at Juniata Park Academy in Philadelphia, where nearly all students come from low-income households.
Mr. Stepansky is a repeat recipient of Deeds for Dan (2020) and writes that his school is a community that holds themselves to high expectations in maintaining a culture of belonging, academic excellence, and innovation. His students come from a lower socioeconomic neighborhood of Philadelphia, with 95% low-income households and 100% free lunches for students.
Mr. Stepansky requested four fielding gloves, four batting gloves, baseball-style COVID masks, and baseball t-shirts for his students who cannot afford the purchase of these items. He doesn't want any of his students to miss out on the opportunity to enjoy the game because they cannot afford the equipment. He says he is in his students' lives to provide opportunity and room to grow.
We are proud to support Mr. Stepansky and his students!
We purchased storage sacks, whiteboards, and a pencil sharpener for kindergarteners at Samuel Huntington Elementary in Norwich, CT, where nearly all students come from low-income households.
Ms. Norelli writes that she has spent every penny of her own money she can on a happy, healthy, and comforting classroom for her students' learning. Unfortunately there are a number of things she still needs. The wipe-off boards we purchased will be used to practice numbers from 1-100 and learn spelling words through extensive phonics instruction. Students will have sharp pencils from the sharpener to learn how to write, and the seat pockets will hold their supplies.
We are so excited for Ms. Norelli and her kindergartners to embark on their big-school adventure together!
We purchased supplies to create a math center for kindergarten through second grade students with intellectual, physical, and sensory impairments at Belmont Hills Elementary School in Bensalem, PA.
Ms. Szwajkowski is the students' life skills teacher and writes that most of her students have never been in a classroom before. It can be scary. She works hard to build a community around what her students have in common and their shared experiences.
These materials will help Ms. Szwajkowski's students engage in lessons and have the material right at their fingertips. Having hands-on materials reduces distractions and captures students' attention. She writes that these supplies will allow her students to have fun and move around while learning.
We are proud to support Ms. Szwajkowski and her students!
We purchased supplies to create an art center that will provide materials for students to develop skills, most especially related to personal identity, at Bishop School Early Learning Center in Norwich, CT, where more than three-quarters of students come from low-income households.
Mrs. Subiono writes that hers is a 50/50 class--50% regular education and 50% students with individualized education plans--ranging in age from 2.9 years-old to 5 years old. She explains that creating art through painting, drawing, and sculpting is so important in early childhood. The art center will help develop skills from fine motor to socio-emotional to creative expression. Included in Mrs. Sobino's request are multicultural paper, paints, and markers that will foster learning opportunities and conversations that will teach children to respect differences within their communities.
We wish Mrs. Sobino and her students a fabulously creative year!
We purchased sets of Dreamland Burning and Bad Boy: A Memoir for Ms. Reid's seventh and eighth grade classes at First Philadelphia Preparatory Charter School, where nearly all students come from low-income households.
Ms. Reid writes that her students often have a hard time seeing themselves in the featured characters of the school's literary curriculum. She decided to revamp the modules to offer students plots and characters that are thought-provoking, timely, and relatable--all while providing the skills needed to advance in the curriculum.
In Bad Boy, Ms. Reid's seventh graders will examine the life of Walter Dean Myers and how literature shaped his future. Meanwhile, Ms. Reid's eighth graders will learn about the Tulsa Massacre of 1921, an event largely absent from their curriculum. Dreamland Burning explores bigotry, the concept of two-ness, love, language, power, privilege, and so much more.
Have a great school year, Ms. Reid!
We purchased printer ink to aid young students with autism and/or other disabilities at William Loesche Elementary (Philadelphia) in communicating. Nearly all students at this school come from low-income households.
Ms. Maria is a speech and language pathologist and writes that her school has a high population of special needs students. Her goal is for all of her students to be able to communicate with others. While some students can communicate verbally, others need alternative means, such as pictures, picture boards, communication books, or augmentative communication devices. Ms. Maria writes that she loves to see her students' facial expressions when they are able to request what they want.
After she collects information about her students' likes and needs in school, Ms. Maria will print single pictures for them to exchange for the item they want. She will also create a pictured board to allow students to select what they need or want from several available items. Ms. Maria will then print communication books with pictures that students can use throughout the day in school to participate in activities.
These resources will allow Ms. Maria to create modes of communication for her non-verbal students, and we are excited to support her!
We helped purchase a portable whiteboard easel for kindergartners at Valley Elementary in Bensalem, PA. Ms. McKinney writes that her five- and six-year-olds are respectful, kind, and active learners.
After teaching remotely last year, Ms. McKinney would like a whiteboard easel to effectively model academic instruction for her class. The easel contains interactive components, such as hooks for charts and shelving. Plus, it's magnetic! Her little learners can take ownership of their learning by coming to the easel to share their thinking, brainstorm ideas, write words, and practice math problems--becoming teachers themselves!
We are proud to support Ms. McKinney and her students!
We purchased coming-of-age graphic novels for sixth to eighth grade students at School Lane Charter High School in Bensalem, PA.
Ms. Sroka writes that many of her students are visual learners who struggle with reading. She would like to structure their curriculum to include graphic novels or illustrated books that use visuals to aid in student comprehension. Because her students want to be able to choose their own books, Ms. Sroka's focus is on stocking her shelves with exciting selections that will help students transition back to in-person and work to close gaps from last year.
Ms. Sroka's students claim that reading is not enjoyable; however, she believes they just haven't found the right books! Ms. Sroka's selections include The Kite Runner (Graphic Novel), Shooting Kabul, Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel, and A Monster Calls.
We are proud to support Ms. Sroka and her students. Happy reading!
We purchased sensory tools and organizational materials for third through fifth grade students at Morrisville Intermediate Senior High School, where more than half of students come from low-income households.
Ms. Dunn's ten students are in a self-contained, intensive learning support classroom. Her students have a wide range of abilities but are eager to learn and explore. Ms. Dunn writes that her students have many sensory needs, and being organized helps to create a calming, home-like environment. She would like to create a warm and cozy area for her students, full of color, textures, and alternative seating, where students can retreat when they are feeling overwhelmed.
We are proud to support Ms. Dunn and her students!
We purchased hands-on science and math materials for second graders at Keystone Elementary in Croydon, PA, where more than half of students come from low-income households.
Mrs. Jahani and her class are in a Title I school, meaning the majority of the school receives free or reduced-price lunch. While many of her students come to school without needed items, they continually rise up and exceed Mrs. Jahani's expectations. They are scientists, mathematicians, writers, readers, friends, community members, adventure seekers, and helpers.
Mrs. Jahani and her class will use these materials to observe and learn about living plants and creatures. Students will be able to watch caterpillars go through metamorphosis to become butterflies and carrots take root. They can then use their new whiteboards to respond and display their work. Mrs. Jahani writes that the best learning occurs when students have authentic experiences that relate to their learning. She wants to encourage her students to become lifelong explorers.
We are proud to support Mrs. Jahani and her students!
We purchased small prizes and rewards for middle school students at Rhodes Elementary School in Philadelphia, where nearly all students come from low-income households.
Ms. Thurmond writes that many of her students are responsible for getting their younger siblings to school and often take on other responsibilities at home. Despite these challenges, they continually help each other with school assignments and projects. They work hard to excel academically and take ownership for their learning.
Ms. Thurmond celebrates her students monthly and would like to provide rewards for students who do positive things at school. Perhaps a student demonstrated leadership and/or supported a teacher during instruction, while others may mentor younger students, support their classmates with peer mediation, and/or read to lower grades.
We love the idea of rewarding positive and helpful behavior. Have a great year, Ms. Thurmond!
We purchased binders and water bottles for middle school students at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Philadelphia, where nearly all students come from low-income households.
Ms. Brown's students come from all over the world. Over half learned English as a second language or are just now learning English. Ms. Brown writes that the diversity in her classroom reflects the diversity of America--a true 'melting pot.' This is her first year at this school and community, and she is looking forward to helping her students better themselves and those around them.
Ms. Brown requested water bottles and binders that students can use throughout the year and take with them when they move on to the next grade. She says that giving the students something they know belongs to them will give them a sense of pride and encourage them to do their best work. The binders will contain all the written work the students edited and submitted for their writing grades and the classroom's short story book.
We are proud to support Ms. Brown and her students and wish them a productive and memorable year!
We purchased soccer equipment for kindergarten through fifth grade students at Abram Jenks Elementary School in Philadelphia, where nearly all students come from low-income households.
Mrs. Schwartz writes that hers is an inner-city, high-poverty school district. Even though her school lacks the resources of more affluent school districts, Mrs. Schwartz says her students are energetic, eager to learn, and willing to accept the difficult challenges that come their way. They have made her a better teacher.
Mrs. Schwartz wants to enhance teamwork and cooperation among her students by having them play soccer. She also notes that playing soccer helps build valuable life skills, such as hard work, decision-making, problem-solving, and communication (along with cardiovascular health and aerobic capacity!).
"Dear DJP Fund,
Thank you so very much for your kindness and generosity for this project. My children will be so excited to know that they will be able to properly learn the benefits of soccer in their lives.
Because of this project, my children will also see the benefits of teamwork and sportsmanship. We are truly blessed. Onward and upward.
We helped purchase learning manipulatives and sensory activities for children ages 3-6 with intellectual, physical, and/or sensory impairments at Lower Southampton Early Learning Center in Feasterville, where more than half of students come from low-income households.
Ms. Jena has a developmental support classroom, and she writes that she would like to give her students the best possible learning experience with new learning manipulatives and sensory activities. Ms. Jena wants to make this school year extra special, since her students are returning to the classroom for the first time since COVID.
Ms. Jena's school has limited resources, and her developmental support classroom is only two years old and has minimal materials. She will use these new items for tabletop activities and sensory play, allowing students to work on fine motor, pre-academic, and social skills.
We are proud to support Ms. Jena and her young students! Have a great year!
We purchased visual supports, sensory inputs, social-emotional tools, and differentiated instructional materials for preschool students with special needs at Lower Southampton Early Learning Center, where more than half of students come from low-income households.
Ms. Dana writes that each of her students learns in different ways, and these tools will help them to both reach the learning goals outlined in their individualized educational plan (IEP) and meet their individual needs. These materials are just some of the many resources that will help enrich the overall social-emotional and cognitive development of her students.
The sensory tools requested by Ms. Dana help her students to remain on-task during structured activities and keep their bodies regulated and calm. Ms. Dana also writes that she has several students who are motivated by numbers and letters. She has requested Alphabots and Numberbots to use as a motivating tool towards learning, all while engaging in functional play!
We are so excited to help Ms. Dana and her students get on the right track this school year!
We purchased soccer and basketball equipment for students pre-K through second grade at Kennedy C Crossan Elementary in Philadelphia, where nearly all students come from low-income households.
Mr. Netterville writes that his school is one of the most ethnically diverse schools in Philadelphia. His students speak a multitude of languages, work super hard, and are eager to learn new skills and ideas. All of his students receive free lunch, and many live in homes that are below the poverty line.
Mr. Netterville tries to get his students outside for recess every day to promote physical activity and healthy habits. Children can socialize with each other and play together safely. Unfortunately, funding is limited, and they have very little equipment. Mr. Netterville requested soccer balls, basketballs, and playground balls for relay races, stations, and game play.
We wish Mr. Netterville and his students a safe and fun year!
We helped purchase privacy shields and early math skill games for first grade students at East End Prep in Nashville, Tennessee, where more than half of students come from low-income households.
Mrs. S. writes that her students have a variety of diverse backgrounds, and many families do not have the means to provide literature and other educational tools at home. Due to these resource limitations, Mrs. S.'s students often enter elementary school significantly behind their more affluent peers. Says Mrs. S., "Despite the hurdles they face, my students are loving, curious, and so invested in growing their minds."
As first graders, Mrs. S.'s students are starting school in-person for the first time EVER. One of the challenges her students face is working next to and with their friends but still maintaining social distancing. Mrs. S. writes that her students are so eager to talk and share their work with each other, after only having seen their classmates through a computer screen. These privacy shields will allow students to get back on track and stay safely distanced from each other, while the shape blocks will help students build math skills, work independently, and stay safe by not sharing too many materials.
We are so excited to support this classroom. Have a great school year, Mrs. S.!
We helped purchase new desks for third through fifth grade students at Morrisville Intermediate Senior High School in Morrisville, Pennsylvania, where more than half of students come from low-income households.
Mrs. Nicastro writes that hers is an emotional support classroom that accommodates students suffering from high anxiety and/or PTSD. Many of her students come from homes that have a high number of stressors, from homelessness and hunger to broken homes. Her students have experienced trauma, homelessness, hunger, incarcerated family members, and many are being raised by extended family. She notes that any and all of these factors can carry over into school and manifest in students' ability to participate and learn. She is working to create a welcoming and safe environment for students to flourish and grow. While her Title I school does not have the funding to provide new classroom furniture, she wants to provide a quiet calm-down area and provide flexible seating throughout the classroom.
Mrs. Nicastro requested desks that allow her students to work independently, but that can also be connected to each other for collaborative group or partner work.
We are proud to support Mrs. Nicastro and her students and wish them a safe and productive school year!
DonorsChoose is the leading way to give to public schools. Since 2000, 4,489,930 people and partners have contributed $997,314,069 to support 1,742,047 teacher requests for classroom resources and experiences. As the most trusted crowdfunding platform for teachers, donors, and district administrators alike, DonorsChoose vets each request, ships the funded resources directly to the classroom, and provides thank yous and reporting to donors and school leaders. Charity Navigator and GuideStar have awarded DonorsChoose, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, their highest ratings for transparency and accountability.