Saturday, March 24, 2007

Donors Choose

Teachers Ask. You Choose. Students Learn.

Peter Pan starring Cathy Rigby was coming to The Theater at Madison Square Garden. I got a flyer in my mailbox at school stating that they had discounted tickets for school groups. LIVE THEATER at discounted prices! As a former theatre major myself I got very excited at the thought of bringing my first grade students to see the magic. But even at discounted rates I could not foot the bill myself or expect that my students could either. What to do?

This is when I remembered a visit we had at Fordham University by a representative from Donors Choose. This is an organization that allows teachers with a dream (of trumpets for their music program, of live theater, of books for their classrooms, etc) to find a generous angel(s) who can make that dream come true. Donors can opt to fund a portion of this dream or all of it. So I posted my request on their website and found four angels that came through with 100% funding. In thanks, each one received a very touching Thank You note from me and from the students. Donors Choose provides a camera and we took pictures throughout the day which were also sent along. The students drew pictures of their experience as well. Some of them are pictured below.

Notice the magic of Peter Pan "flying" with the aid of a cable


There we are in the audience

This was in December 2005 and for the remainder of the school year the students referred back to this experience. We parlayed it into math lessons (graphing our favorite characters) writing (shared stories, letters to the characters, descriptions, creating a play), reading (there are many versions of this story) and Art. They are now in second grade and bring it up in different ways in my interactions with them. It is my hope that what they experienced that day will stay with them - even if it is just a good feeling about live theater. All this was made possible through Donors Choose, where your contribution is tax deductible. So, if you find yourself with a spare bit of change and are wondering what to do with it, have a look at Donors Choose. You can make a difference!

...thank you to my special angels who continue to grace my life.

3 comments:

Joy said...

I'm so glad you brought this up! It's such a great organization! I have a challenge on my blog - to try to raise money for a variety of proposals dealing with music and reading. Anyone who wants to can pop a couple of dollars into the challenge and help out. It doesn't take a lot, just a little bit of change from a whole lot of people adds up! AND it's easy!

Jenny Faye said...

Wow! That is incredible! What a wonderful way to connect a generous community to the students in a meaningful way.

Mark said...

I agree with both Joy and Jenny!
This is a great organization and should be utilized often.
Live theatre is a tool teachers should use to stimulate and open up young minds. Not only does it entertain, but going to a production is a wonderful event which will leave a lasting impression on any child. If a child remembers just one aspect of a show or play's concept, they are then willing and able to continue on a steady path of learning.
Live one, live theatre.

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