DonorsChoose Pick: Help Students in Detroit Change the World

“My students are some of the brightest, most innovative, hilarious, and compassionate people I have ever had the privilege to meet,” says Teach For America alum Meenakshi Mukherjee (Detroit ’13). “Each day my students work together as a community of learners to meet and surpass goals, solve problems, and ask really important questions about the world around them.”

Ms. Mukherjee’s fourth graders at SW Lighthouse Academy in Detroit are also strong willed, brilliant, passionate, and the future of the city they live in.

A Letter to My Fellow Teachers at the Beginning of the School Year

Dear Teachers,

I want to begin by telling you a story. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve remembered a Walt Disney quote I heard during my first trip to Disneyland: “A dream is a wish your heart makes.” I was the little girl who dreamed about being a Disney princess and marrying Prince Charming when I grew up. Then my dream evolved into wanting to be a teacher whose alter ego was a Disney princess. I wanted to do something in my life that I knew would have a lasting impact, whether on one person or many.

DonorsChoose Pick: Help Build Interactive Notebooks in North Carolina

“I want to push innovation in my classroom, to see these new high school students thrive,” says Teach For America corps member Matthew Killian (North Carolina Piedmont Triad ’15).

Mr. Killian teaches a diverse group of ninth-graders at Northeast Guilford High School in McLeansville, North Carolina. Although they come from varied backgrounds—including both rural and urban areas—his students all crave learning in a unique way.

DonorsChoose Pick: Help Students in Maryland Aspire to STEM Careers

“Our school’s community is well behind in technology for the advancement of our students,” says Teach For America alum Aaron Cardwell (DC Region ’15). But despite this setback, Mr. Cardwell’s math students at Glenn Dale Elementary School in Glenn Dale, Maryland, still hope to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Understanding that exposure to technology is essential for students interested in pursuing these careers, Mr. Cardwell has turned to to raise funds to purchase an interactive whiteboard for his classroom. He currently uses a dry-erase board for daily instruction, but he believes the new technology will enable his students to develop their presentation skills and better solve, analyze, and explain abstract mathematical concepts.

DonorsChoose Teams Up With Target to Bring Kid-Inspired Projects to Life

Each week, TeacherPop shares stories from teachers who’ve set out to improve their classrooms and enhance students’ learning experiences. Whether they’re looking to create a cozy reading area for their kids or hoping to purchase the latest in technology for their classroom, these teachers turn to places like to gain the support they need to see their projects through.

DonorsChoose Pick: Help Create a Cozy Reading Corner in Ohio

Teach For America alum Kim Wurtz (Southwest Ohio ’12) leads a classroom filled with kindergartners eager to learn and ready for adventure.

“Our life connections are more vivid as we read about different cultures, jobs, passions, and events from across the world,” Mrs. Wurtz says. “Every child is so excited to learn, anticipating what new adventure awaits beyond our classroom door.”

Confident that her students at North Dayton School of Discovery in Dayton, Ohio, are beginning to understand how a love of reading and learning will contribute to their success, Mrs. Wurtz is working to create a comfortable class reading space for her students.

DonorsChoose Pick: Help Students in Oklahoma Learn Math Concepts

“Many of my students begin the school year either reading below a first-grade reading level or not knowing their letter sounds, and missing basic math skills,” says Teach For America alum Shelby Eagan (Greater Tulsa ’13).

Despite these challenges, her students come to Mitchell Elementary School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with so much excitement for learning, that she hopes to cultivate that joy throughout the school year.

DonorsChoose Pick: Expand Global Awareness for Students in Baltimore

“Our students are hard-working, determined, and enthusiastic learners,” says Teach For America alum Taylor Willett (Baltimore ’13). “They have a zeal for learning and are eager to explore how their learning can be applied to the community around them.”

The students in Ms. Willett’s class at Morrell Park Elementary School 220 in Baltimore are also interested in expanding their global awareness, though many don’t have the financial means to travel outside their neighborhoods.