If you haven’t heard about DonorsChoose.org, it’s an incredible nonprofit organization that does wonders in our nation’s public schools. It gives any individual an opportunity to donate directly to a public school classroom project. As a teacher, I have seen the difference these donations have made in our children’s educational experiences and in their appreciation of where they’re getting their supplies or materials from. Very often, we hear that there’s not enough money in the school’s budget to support this or buy that so we usually have to find our own way of giving our children what they need or deserve. DonorsChoose does exactly that – teachers write a proposal for needed materials, donors donate and receive pictures and thank you letters from the teacher and students.
Last week, DonorsChoose had an open house event at their new office on 37th Street. It was a pleasure to meet some of the staff and other teachers from around the city, and to see how the company functions from behind the scenes. Thanks to staff member Josie, I got a private tour so that I can share with YOU all the beauty of the company that you donate to or participate in. 🙂
Meet Josie. Super friendly and has a beautiful smile! She is a marketing associate and has worked here for over a year. She loooooves her job! Thank you so much Josie for spending so much time with me – I had such a blast learning about what you do!
First stop of the tour: the welcome center! The TV screen shows all the data that’s happening in the company including how many proposals were written or funded. It’s comfortably laid out like a living room!
All meeting rooms are named by subject area using magnetic letters. So clever and creative! (I didn’t go to the bathroom but I heard you can play with the magnetic letters on the walls… kudos to that!)
Unfortunately, I didn’t know the name of the chalk artist who did this, but he created these walls featuring the most requested items over the years since DonorsChoose started in 2000. You can tell a lot of requests by teachers were related to field trips, music, school supplies, sports, art, and literacy.
This is the Thank You wall dedicated to the long-time supporters of classroom projects. Below is the Thank You Center where students’ thank you letters get sorted and mailed to the donors – it’s also the place where teachers can come volunteer after school to help put packages together. If you’re interested in volunteering, click here!
If I can swap jobs for a day, I would be here! The atmosphere is so focused yet so supportive and comfortable. Did I mention fun because you know it’s all for the children? Then, to make an office even more innovative, who wouldn’t want to hopscotch their way to their desk area after hanging their bike on the company’s own bike rack??
After the tour and chat, I had a chance to mingle with some other teachers from around the city and enjoy Dos Toros burrito bowls. It was really powerful hearing how DonorsChoose has impacted educators and how the projects funded have made a difference in their classrooms and teaching. For me alone, I wouldn’t be able to do so much artwork and project based learning without the materials funded!
If you’re looking for a classroom to donate to, please feel free to message me or just search on the website! I know plenty of wonderful classrooms that could surely use the support! 🙂 Thank you DonorsChoose for making it all possible!