Saturday, July 14, 2012

A few weeks ago, all of my boxes and furniture were moved from my old school to my new school. However, I had a weird situation with furniture. Since I am moving from first to third grade, I had to leave all of my classroom furniture (teacher desk, teacher chair, student computers, and most importantly my beloved kidney-shaped table). I inherited the classroom furniture of the third grade teacher who retired. And here’s the wah wah- no kidney-shaped table. I love using this shape for guided reading. It’s functional, it’s not too big, not too small, nobody fights for a spot because they are all the same, it’s NEEDED! (for me at least!) So after asking custodians and being shot down I thought of something: Donors Choose!

If you have never heard of Donors Choose it is an amazing program that finds donors to fund projects/supplies/books/etc. requested by teachers. It is free for teachers to sign up and submit a project. Many teachers post projects that need special materials like science experiments or lab kits that can be too expensive to buy ourselves. Other teachers have been able to get complete classroom libraries funded. I checked before I submitted a request for a table, and noticed that many others have had tables, chairs, computers, rugs, and other furniture completely funded. So I gave it a go! Here’s a quick and simple overview of how to post a project:

1. Sign up. Again, completely free. Just like signing up for other websites. Once you are a member you can create a project.

2. Creating a project requires spending “points”. You automatically get 3 points just for signing up! The number of points for each project depends on how expensive the items are that you are requesting. My table is a $300 project (they add a lot for shipping, processing, site fees, etc.) and it only cost me 1 point. So I could still post 2 more projects!

3. I won’t go into too much detail here because the website does a fantastic job of walking you through the project-creating process.  First they ask you a lot of questions to make sure you really are a teacher and that your school qualifies for the program. I am guessing some private schools may not be able to qualify, but if you are a public school teacher you shouldn’t have any problems.  Then they ask you to write a few blurbs about your school, students, the item(s) you are requesting, how it will be used, and why you need it. You will also upload a picture to attract donors to your project. This part took me awhile because I wanted to sound professional, but also say “HEY LOOK AT MY PROJECT!! DONATE TO ME!!” (Don’t worry I didn’t go all shouty capitals.) The last big part of the process is shopping. If you don’t want to spend a lot of “points” you should pick items from their catalog or suggested manufacturer websites. They have tons and tons of products. If you are requesting something that isn’t really unique or specific it should be in their inventory. I had many kidney-shaped tables to choose from. Read the directions or watch the tutorial they have for shopping before you try to figure this out on your own. Once you have your items picked out you are pretty much done. It will have to be approved which takes a few days, but after that, your project is out there for donors to see and donate money to if they so desire (fingers crossed!)

It is a little time consuming, but I hope it is all worth it. I’m already trying to think of something to spend my other two points on. Has anyone had a success story with Donors Choose? I hope I will soon! Here is a link to my project. If you are a donor, LOOK AT MY PROJECT! HELP ME GET A PRETTY KIDNEY-SHAPED TABLE!! Smile 

kidney table

P.S. While posting today I ate one of the best ice cream bars of my entire life. Haagen Dazs Salted Caramel Ice Cream Bars. HOLY MOLY! Go get them!


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