Smart kids

It's October 1st (well it was yesterday, anyway), and I'm pretty excited, because this means it's the start of another DonorsChoose challenge. For those of you who weren't around at this time last year, DonorsChoose is an organization that pairs up your ka$hmoney with educational projects in public schools. You get to choose the project your money goes to fund from an enormous range of schools, subjects, and students. It's sort of like what tax dollars are supposed to do, only it actually works.

Last year, I set what I thought was an ambitious fundraising goal for Signout's readership, and you guys absolutely blew it out of the water. This year, there are more of you--and with you all being so fabulously wealthy (and devastatingly attractive), I figure we can aim even higher. Watch the graphic to your left to see how we're doing.

If you click on that graphic (or here), you'll get taken to a page that lists some projects I found especially worthy. You may note that some projects are depressingly basic--again, one asks for pencils and pens for students who can't afford them. Others are less basic, but perhaps bring back memories of some of the things that sparked fires in your teensy brains back before they became so massively overloaded with YouTube clip addresses and the names of smelly Italian sheep's milk cheeses.

Wouldn't you like to help create that spark for a kid with potential? Or at least, give her a pencil?

Even if you're not sure you want to donate, I urge you to browse the projects available. It'll make you righteously angry at the state of education in this country--and if it makes you angry enough to donate, so much the better. (I especially urge you to look at the essential lower-cost projects in the schools with the highest poverty levels.) I've got a few projects picked out on the Signout 2008 Campaign for Smart Kids page, but don't let that limit you; you can search by tons of different variables to advance whatever agenda you hold most dear--even to help fund schools in your neighborhood.

I hope you'll consider making even a small donation. Don't forget--smart kids turn into smart grown-ups, and smart grown-ups vote.

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You guys remember that DonorsChoose campaign in which Signout participated last October? Well. A project called "The Pencil Monster" was funded exclusively through donations obtained via this very blog. And because it was a great project, it got televised. Behold, the 20/20 clip! (At this linked…
Yowza! Within four days of my announcement about the Donors Choose campaign, you guys donated enough to more than double Signout's fundraising goal. You've raised nearly 600 bucks, kids, and I couldn't be prouder! Of course, don't let that keep you from telling your friends or checking out some of…
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.…
Edited to add: we've reached our goal! Thank you so much to all who participated; if others would still like to donate, Janet has a list of other blogger challenges--and remember that every completed challenge gets a 10% completion bonus from DonorsChoose, stretching your donation farther.…

So glad to see you keeping active in this endeavor. I'm in.

I am glad you recognized her dread about pronouncement as something more than paperwork. One part of my residency I loved was the once a week the hospital chaplain/counselor/ethics professor would round with us.

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I think people differ greatly on this issue. For example, if it were completely unidentifiable as my own, I would have no problem with a picture of my naked ass being posted on the Internet. Others would be absolutely horrified by the prospect.

I think people differ greatly on this issue. For example, if it were completely unidentifiable as my own, I would have no problem with a picture of my naked ass being posted on the Internet. Others would be absolutely horrified by the prospect.

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If some researcher can figure out a clever way of dissociating genetic influences from cultural influences, I personally think it would be enlightening to know about innate differences between sexes. Not in order to justify social stratification, but because it could inform educational strategies, neuropharmacology, etc.