Terra Sigillata

As you’ve probably seen elsewhere on ScienceBlogs, a number of us are teaming up to raise funds for teacher projects at DonorsChoose.org. DonorsChoose is a clever fundraising model for K-12 education projects where public funds don’t quite meet the needs of teachers and kids.

The idea is that teachers propose projects and “donors choose” which ones they would like to support. You can choose to donate to a number of projects or fund a single one, depending on what moves you the most. Many DonorsChoose projects are at school with a high level of poverty or in areas of the country where science educational tools are at a premium.

So many of us can point to key teachers and their projects or activities that stimulated our interest in science some years ago. However, public school budgets have been tightening and there is sadly a disparity in the distribution of funds across school systems. In scrolling through the DonorsChoose projects, I was shocked at the lack of basic educational tools experienced by many school systems. By matching teachers with potential donors, this organization brings these needs to the front and center and you can see how even pitching in $10 or $20 can make a huge impact for dozens of students.

Last year, Terra Sig readers were a generous bunch, raising $4,073 for three projects. We set our goal at $3,500 but you folks blasted through that. We even ranked highest for donations relative to pageviews out of the ScienceBlogs participating.

The projects I selected for this year’s challenge can be found here:
Terra Sig’s Save the Science Challenge

Many are for science projects and there has never been a more important time to assure high-quality science education for our young people. Most projects are also for areas with high levels of poverty, as judged by the percentage of students receiving free lunches. As a result, some projects are for basic needs (i.e., simple school supplies) that must be met before teachers can even think about enhancing their science education capabilities. I also chose to spread out the list across 11 projects of moderate size so that we can all make a greater impact. This year’s goal for our blog is $4,000 but I encourage readers to take up the challenge and bust through that goal like you did last year.

Your interest is piqued, you say?

How It Works:

Follow this link to our challenge on the DonorsChoose website
Terra Sig’s Save the Science Challenge

Pick a project from the list I’ve selected (or more than one project, if you just can’t choose).

Donate.

DonorsChoose will send you a confirmation email. Hold onto it; our benevolent overlords at Seed will be randomly selecting some donors to receive nifty prizes. Details about the prizes and how to get entered will be posted here soon!

Sit back and watch the little donation thermometers inch towards 100 percent, and check the ScienceBlogs leaderboard to see how many students will be impacted by your generosity.

Many thanks to all of our readers for considering donating to these highly-deserving projects. Over the next few days, I’ll feature a few of the projects and keep you apprised of our progress.

Comments

  1. #1 syncopee
    October 2, 2007

    You aren’t kidding – “Free Lunch But Not Free Supplies” just broke my heart:

    It is hard to get the supplies needed for students when parents struggle to support their families. I would hate to know that because they were required to have supplies that they would miss a meal at home. Some of our students only get their meals while at school.

    What kind of country are we living in? Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

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