DonorsChoose Pick: Help Students in the Bronx Program Their Robot

Teach For America alum Carolyn Gisondi (New York ’08) teaches a diverse group of students at PS 86 Kingsbridge Heights in the Bronx. Though the backgrounds of her students differ—with many hailing from Central and South America, and some as far away as Bangladesh—they always come together and work as one to achieve their goals, Mrs. Gisondi says.

This year, Mrs. Gisondi’s class is participating in a new initiative aimed at providing high-quality computer science education to students in New York City—Computer Science For All—and will work as a team to test their programming skills.

By |February 22nd, 2017|General Pop, Your Stories|0 Comments|

DonorsChoose Pick: Help Students in Berkeley Immerse Themselves in History

Teach For America alum Stefanie Wissmann (New York ’04) teaches a group of curious and energetic fourth graders at Cragmont Elementary School in Berkeley, California.

“They love learning more about themselves, each other, and the world,” Ms. Wissman says. “They are definitely voracious readers and enjoy learning about history.”

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that her students also love to go on field trips to complement what they’re learning in the classroom—especially when it comes to Native Americans, European explorers, and the Gold Rush.

By |February 15th, 2017|General Pop, Your Stories|0 Comments|

DonorsChoose Pick: Help Students in Dallas Strengthen Their School Community

Teach For America alum Valeria Estrada (Dallas – Fort Worth ’14) is working hard to strengthen her school community and engage students with extracurricular activities. One way she’s doing so is by helping her kids at Nancy J. Cochran Elementary School in Dallas start a school newspaper to keep students, parents, and the community up to date on all the happenings on campus.

“Our students crave opportunities to use technology to create things and share them with their peers and parents,” Ms. Estrada says.

By |February 2nd, 2017|General Pop, Your Stories|0 Comments|

DonorsChoose Pick: Help Math Students in Baltimore Achieve Success

Teach For America alum Julie Oxenhandler (Baltimore ’09) understands math is often a challenging subject for her students at Afya Public Charter Middle School 337 in Baltimore. It can cause stress and anxiety, she says, and sometimes students even develop a negative association with school in general, as a result.

“My students are curious, active, intelligent middle schoolers,” Ms. Oxenhandler says. “They ask a lot of questions, hold themselves to high standards, and want nothing more than to have a positive impact on their school and neighborhood.”

By |January 25th, 2017|General Pop, Your Stories|0 Comments|

DonorsChoose Pick: Help Students in Illinois Keep in Tune

As a music teacher, Teach For America alum Amber Kenis (Mississippi ’11) is sharing her own love for music with students at Simmons Middle School in Oak Lawn, Illinois. And in just four years—since the reintroduction of the music program after an eight-year hiatus—the school’s music program has grown from a small group of 10 students to more than 250.

“These students have set a solid foundation for the program so that it highlights some of the district’s best qualities,” Ms. Kenis says. “They are eager and excited to learn more about music. We just can’t keep them busy!!” (She admits this is a great problem to have, but not the only one they’re facing.)

By |January 12th, 2017|General Pop, Your Stories|0 Comments|

DonorsChoose Pick: Help Create a Comfy Floor Space for Students in Louisiana

Teach For America alum Samantha Slim (South Louisiana ’11) teaches a group of inquisitive third graders that are always on the hunt for knowledge.

“They come from backgrounds that are often challenging and overwhelming,” Ms. Slim says of her students from Rosenwald Elementary School in New Roads, Louisiana. “However, each day they are looking forward to learning and exploring.”

By |December 21st, 2016|General Pop, Your Stories|0 Comments|

DonorsChoose Pick: Help Students in New Orleans Express Their Creativity

The students at ReNEW Cultural Arts Academy at Live Oak in New Orleans, Louisiana live and breathe creativity. And their teacher, Teach For America alum Leslie Goldberg (Mississippi Delta ’10), understands just how important a role the arts play in the lives of her students.

“Art and music are a way of life here,” Ms. Goldberg says, “and infusing it into our schools honors our community and gives our students a chance to express themselves and become woven into the fabric of our city.”

By |December 14th, 2016|General Pop, Your Stories|0 Comments|

DonorsChoose Pick: Help Spark Scientific Curiosity in Phoenix

“Our first graders come to school every day with never-ending questions about the world,” says Teach For America corps member Alexandra Harper (Phoenix ’16). “Their curiosity and desire to learn has no boundaries.”

Ms. Harper works hard to inspire a curiosity in science among her students from Pioneer Preparatory School in Phoenix, Arizona. During the course of the school year, her kids will learn about the human body, nutrition, and even astronomy. Though her students are able to take part in a variety of engaging projects, Ms. Harper acknowledges that when it comes to instilling a lifelong love of science among her students, hands-on, interactive exposure to science and STEM is critical.

By |December 7th, 2016|General Pop, Your Stories|0 Comments|