If you're a parent, you're probably familiar with the notes (or emails) home from school asking for help leading a field trip, or classroom supplies, or donations to the PTA. But if you're reading this blog, it's likely your kids are in a school that's already getting plenty of help from parents. What about those other schools -- the ones where 70 percent or more qualify for free lunches, where classes don't get taught because teachers don't have textbooks, where parents are so poor they can't afford to donate, and so busy working to make ends meet they don't have time to help out?
We think those kids need help too -- probably more than our own kids. That's why we're participating in the ScienceBlogs Donors Choose Challenge for the second year in a row. Last year, we raised over $3,000. This year, with three times as many readers and 20 times more RSS subscribers, we think we can do better.
So this year, our goal will be to raise $6,000 for deserving students and their teachers. We've selected eleven projects that will directly impact students (they even send thank you notes!).
To donate, just visit our Challenge page, and browse through the projects we've selected. When you see one you'd like to support, just click on the "fund all or part of this proposal" button.
Greta and I are committed to meeting this goal, and as an extra incentive to our readers, if we reach our target of $6,000, we'll add in an extra $600 ourselves to support this worthy cause. So even if you've only got $10 to donate, your contribution's impact will be magnified.
More information on the challenge below:
This year, the challenge runs for the entire month of October. A number of ScienceBloggers have already put together challenges. Here's who's in so far:
A Blog Around the Clock (challenge here)
Adventures in Ethics and Science (challenge here)
Aetiology (challenge here)
Cognitive Daily (challenge here)
Deep Sea News (challenge here)
Evolgen (challenge here)
Gene Expression (challenge here)
Omni Brain (challenge here)
On Being a Scientist and a Woman (challenge here)
The Questionable Authority (challenge here)
Retrospectacle (challenge here)
The Scientific Activist (challenge here)
Stranger Fruit (challenge here)
Terra Sigillata (challenge here)
Thoughts From Kansas (challenge here)
Thus Spake Zuska (challenge here)
Uncertain Principles (challenge here)
How It Works:
Follow the links above to the DonorsChoose website.
Pick a project from the slate the blogger has selected (or more than one project, if you just can't choose).
(If you're the loyal reader of multiple participating blogs and you don't want to play favorites, you can, of course, donate to multiple challenges!)
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.
I donated through the challenge link, but weirdly I don't see my donation under the challenge tally.
Thanks for letting me know about that! Please email me with your info and I'll check into it. Actually I'm checking into it either way, but more information might help. (and anyone else with this problem should let me know too)
So let me get this right, you're raising money so that people can donate to support teachers and students who are living and working in the richest country in the world?
Funny thing, Stephen. Even though we're the richest country in the world in terms of average income, there are still millions of Americans living in poverty. And a disproportionate number of those people are children.
Our educational system is in particularly bad shape because the central government doesn't provide much funding for education -- it's mainly paid for by local governments. Since poverty is concentrated in particular regions, there are many impoverished schools that don't have enough money to pay for the basics. Donors Choose is an incomplete solution to the problem -- ideally (in my view) more aid would come from the government, but when the government won't help, it's up to individuals to come to the aid of their neighbors.
A complete solution to the problem might be reverse the numbers indicated by commenter #1.