DonorsChoose Pick: Help Make Inclusive Education a Reality

VinnieAmendolare.2013.61

“There is no typical day in my classroom,” says Teach For America alum Jenny Bard. “We are always exploring the world around us through the lens of autism.”

Ms. Bard exclusively teaches students with autism at Kamiakin High School in Kennewick, Washington. Her goal is to offer her students as much access to general education content as possible.

“I consider my job to make school a fun and engaging place for them to be—and to help them adjust to their environment as best they can,” Ms. Bard says. “Many of my students have sensory sensitivity and need access to assistive technology to make the vision of an inclusive education a reality.”

GoFundMe Pick: Teaching 21st-Century Skills in LA

131009_ATL_Page_8937

In order to provide her students at West Adams Preparatory High School in Los Angeles with the 21-century skills necessary for success, first year Teach For America corps member Tanya Pacheco-Kachirisky (Los Angeles ’15) has decided to create a “mini-Chromebook lab” in her classroom. By integrating technology into the classroom, Ms. Pacheco-Kachirisky believes she’ll best prepare her students for college and beyond.

DonorsChoose Pick: Inspiring Civic Engagement in Washington State

New Mexico 05_11.0315

Although the students in Teach for America alum Zack Zappone’s middle school classroom in Kennewick, Washington, come from diverse backgrounds, they all share a common drive to positively affect their community through government and civic engagement.

The drive of these students from Park Middle School is so strong that they, along with Mr. Zappone and fellow teacher, Ms. Burt, have taken to DonorsChoose.org to raise funds for an all-inclusive civic education program in Washington, DC. They are very close to reaching their fundraising goal—and just need a little extra support to see their dreams realized.

DonorsChoose Pick: Dirty Hands and Engaged Minds in Detroit

DonorsChoose

The students in Teach For America corps member Katie Rogers’ first-grade classroom at Carleton Elementary School in Detroit are curious, observant, and exploratory in nature. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that they want to learn about plant life cycles—and make their school more beautiful—by growing plants indoors.

“A hands-on experiment will help their minds grow, much like the seeds, beans, and vegetables they will be planting,” Ms. Rogers says.

DonorsChoose Pick: Buggin’ Out in NOLA

DonorsChoose Pick

One subject in particular has captured the interest of Teach For America alumna Ms. Tolbert’s third grade students at KIPP New Orleans Leadership Primary—science!

Throughout the school year, Ms. Tolbert’s students have exhibited a tremendous amount of growth, which she attributes to their love of learning, curiosity, and grit. She hopes to foster even more growth among her students through interactive activity—specifically, a field trip to the Audubon Nature Center in New Orleans.

DonorsChoose Pick: Help Inspire All Types of Learners

DonorsChoose Pick

“Today is a great day for teaching and learning!” These are the encouraging words Teach For America corps member Te Shauna Russell shares with her 3rd grade students each school day at Connally Elementary School in Atlanta.

Ms. Russell works hard to foster a strong sense of community in her classroom through collaborative group projects and peer teaching. She admits her students face numerous challenges outside their classroom—some are even two or more grade levels behind—but despite these challenges her students are hungry to learn.

GoFundMe Pick: Send the “Bear Writers” to Iowa

GoFundMe Pick

Last semester Teach For America corps member Jostna Dash assigned her ninth grade advanced English students Erin Gruwell’s best-selling book, The Freedom Writers Diary, which tells the story of a group of inspiring high school students in California who tackled the battles of living in the inner city.

Though Ms. Dash’s students at East High School are thousands of miles away in Kansas City, MO, they were so inspired by this group of students that they started calling themselves the “Bear Writers” after the school’s mascot, and began writing their own narratives and preparing for college. Additionally, as the Freedom Writers took a trip each year of their high school careers to expand their worldviews, Ms. Dash’s students have set out to do the same.

DonorsChoose Pick: Bring the Joy of Reading to First Graders

JuanJimenez.2014.249

Every day Roya Bazaei’s first graders in Oakland curl up with a good book on the classroom floor and practice a new reading skill their teacher has taught them.

Ms. Bazaei, a Teach For America alumna, admits her students aren’t at the point where they can read silently, so she sprinkles her students around the room so they can hear themselves read. It’s also more fun than having to read at their desks.