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.

DonorsChoose Pick: Help Students in Chicago Reach Their Full Potential

Teach For America alum Kathleen Sweet (Chicago–Northwest Indiana ’08) aims to help her students at Noble Street Charter School in Chicago reach their maximum potential.

“They want to be successful and they work hard in the face of so many obstacles to get there,” Ms. Sweet says of her students. “They live in a dangerous city where they are fighting to graduate college to access a life rich with options.”

DonorsChoose Pick: Help Welcome Students to Middle School in Oklahoma

Teach For America corps member Mariah Johnson (Oklahoma City ’14) believes her incoming sixth graders at Rogers Middle School in Spencer, Oklahoma, deserve the best welcome possible.

“Our goal as the sixth-grade team is to prepare our students for their secondary years of schooling,” she says. “By providing the necessary organizational tools to all students in sixth-grade academy, we give our incoming scholars a head start to success.”

DonorsChoose Pick: Help Instill a Love of Reading in Atlanta Fourth Graders

When it comes to developing students’ perspectives on reading, Teach For America alum Allaisia Cotton (Metro Atlanta ’11) believes fourth grade is a critical time.

“They can either decide that reading is a fun and enjoyable activity that they can engage in at any time,” Ms. Cotton says, “or they can decide that reading is a boring activity that they only participate in when asked to.”

DonorsChoose Pick: Help Students in Baltimore Conceptualize Advanced Math

“Time after time, my students show how much they care about people,” says Teach For America alum Artemus Werts (Baltimore ’13). “When several teachers at my school were laid off due to budget constraints, my students staged an in-school sit-in to protect their jobs—my students fight for those they love.”

It’s now Mr. Werts’ turn to give back to his students at Paul L Dunbar High School in Baltimore.

DonorsChoose Pick: Provide Books to Students on Chicago’s West Side

Teach For America alum Jessica Valerio (Chicago ’11) is working with a team of talented educators to create a new KIPP middle school on the West Side of Chicago.

“This year, 180 fifth- and sixth-grade students will join a new KIPP campus dedicated to empowering students with the character and academic skills necessary to persist through college, pursue their passions with confidence, and lead for a more just Chicago,” Ms. Valerio says.

DonorsChoose Pick: Boost Students’ World Awareness in Las Vegas


Teach For America alum Lauren Warshawsky (Las Vegas Valley ’08) is working hard to expand the experiences of her second-grade students beyond their classroom at Disken Elementary School in Las Vegas.

“Their world includes their homes, school, park, grocery store, and a few other places,” Ms. Warshawsky says. “Wouldn’t it be great if their world included castles in Ireland, a science lab in Atlanta studying a new bug, or a bat hospital in Australia too?”

Ms. Warshawsky’s students arrive at school each day eager to learn, no matter what challenges they face outside the classroom.