I did it! I picked a project to fund with the $25 gift certificate that I received from Crate and Barrel last week. It was kind of daunting to pick just one project because there are so many teachers out there who have really substantial needs for their classrooms. So rather than sift through hundreds and hundreds of requests, I decided to narrow my search for a project by city and subject. There weren't any needs in the town where I grew up, so I chose Baltimore city, where my parents attended school. I searched many different subject areas that were of interest to me as a student (writing, reading, history and art), but one of them really stuck with me.
The proposal, Vocabulary Victory, came from a Baltimore City Title I* school where over 80% of the children receive a free lunch. The teacher who requested the funding is the Literacy Intervention Teacher where she works with children in grades 1 through 5 to help them gain better reading skills. My donation will help to purchase practice books, riddles and "whisper" phones that will expose them to several different types of learning and instruction. This will enable the students to increase their vocabulary and help them to better understand what they're reading.
And from a girl who relied heavily on her Reading Comprehension score to boost her meager Math score on the SATs, I'm so excited to help bring the gift of words that I love so much to these needy students. Knowing that there are still teachers in the world who truly care about their student's development and want to give them every opportunity to learn gives me the warm fuzzies. I'm hoping I hear from the teacher and students so that I can see for myself the impact that even just a small gift can make.
Jonathan and I will be driving up to Pennsylvania tonight to spend Thanksgiving with his family. After spending the first few years of our relationship driving to my parents in MD and to his parents in PA and then back home to Virginia all in one day, we wised up last year and are now on alternating schedules. Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve/AM with one family and Christmas day/night with the other. Then we switch if off for the following year. We still end up doing a lot of driving, but we figure once we have kids they'll start visiting us. For now, I'll get back to wishing that my boss would just hurry up and send us home already because I have some cookie baking and furbaby grooming to do before we hit the road!
*Title I is part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, and is the foundation of the federal commitment to closing the achievement gap between low-income and other students. (Found at http://www.naeyc.org/)