Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Donorschoose.org – Unique Wedding Guest Gift

I’ve just returned from the Philadelphia wedding of my nephew. It was a lovely, lovely wedding, and I cried as the bride and groom stood under the chupah. Yet I also cried much later in the evening – while a fantastic band played – when I opened the wedding guest gift:

Each guest received a gift certificate for $18 (in Hebrew 18 represents chai – life) to www.donorschoose.org – a nonprofit website where “public school teachers submit proposals for materials or experiences their students need to learn.” And then donations bring these dreams to life.

At the wedding I talked to my nephew about the gift certificates. He said he and his bride-to-be had been thinking of giving each guest a $10 gift when they realized what they could do with a different kind of wedding guest gift.

This morning I went to www.donorschoose.org/gift to redeem my gift certificate. There were so many good projects from which to choose. Yet, as a book author, I was drawn to the following project (underlining mine):

Pushing Our Way into Literacy: Book Carts For the Classroom

Last week was Teen Read Week. The media specialist and I created a book cart around the theme Get Active and visited 28 classrooms during the week. With each class, we did a book pass of books we thought would be high interest reads for the students and then allowed them to check out books. During the week, there was a 280% increase in the number of books checked out. We received an overwhelmingly positive response from the staff as well, who reported that for the first time their students were reading.

We would now like to purchase a number of carts to create themed book mobiles for teachers to check out. We know that reading comprehension is the most critical component of student education, and placing high interest reads into the hands of our kids is the key to developing that comprehension.

I need two book carts to enable me to provide high interest young adult reading materials to the students in my school. The cost of this proposal is $833, which includes shipping for any materials requested and fulfillment.

When I submitted my gift certificate to this project, I was asked to comment for the website on why this particular project. Here’s my reply:

I gave to this project because I'm the author of a book MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL and I believe reading books is vital in the acquiring of reading skills.

PZ the Do-Gooder Scrooge recommends that – when giving out gifts for various occasions – consider following the example of my nephew and his bride: Give gift certificates to www.donorschoose.org.

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