What to do? How to heal? How can any possible good come of this tragedy? These are only a few of the questions that have been churning around in my mind in the days since the unspeakable tragedy in Newtown, CT.
Yesterday, a light went off in my head. Yes, there is something I can do! I can find a first grade classroom that needs help. I can be that help. I can create a living memorial for the beautiful children and their heroic teachers by helping a first grade classroom in need.
For a long time I have been an intermittent supporter of Donor's Choose, a national nonprofit that connects American classrooms with donors. Their website explains
"Public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on our site, and you can give any amount to the project that most inspires you.So I set out to find a first grade classroom that is asking for help. Follow me below the doo-hickey, and see what amazing things I found:
When a project reaches its funding goal, we ship the materials to the school. You'll get photos of the project taking place, a letter from the teacher, and insight into how every dollar was spent."
First off, I searched for projects for first grade and there are over 1700 to choose from! I think I'll narrow the field to schools in high poverty areas to make it easier to pick.
And here is Mrs Weldon's first grade class in Philadelphia. They need books for a reading center. Five donors have partially funded her request, but more are needed to reach the goal.
In the impoverished Tenderloin of San Francisco Ms Olsen's first grade needs big format books to enrich her reading curriculum.
With so many projects available, you can surely find one that appeals to you and maybe one in your own backyard.
Donor's Choose is just one way to make a difference to a worthy classroom. You can play the Auntie Mame or rich Uncle by going to your neighborhood school and asking how you can help. Do they need library books? Crayons? Tutoring?
Wrap your arms around a first grade classroom somewhere. Make life a little easier and a little richer for those children and for their teacher. Wouldn't that be a fitting memorial?
Now I'm heading back to Donor's Choose to pick my project to fund.