I waited until now to do my learning post, because I didn't want to talk about my learning, but about supporting learning through my favorite charity, Donors Choose .
For the past three or four Octobers, Donors Choose has run a blogger's challenge to raise funds and their visibility. Sarah at Tomato Nation has pulled out the stops every year, raising truly awesome amounts of money through her blog and her readership. I'm not organized enough to put together my own blogger challenge, but I do have it together enough to come on here and plug her efforts. Plus, she has tons of cool swag that she's raffling off through the course of the month if you donate through her page.
Contest '09: Deal is your handy link to her page, which will let you get through to her challenge page. If you happen to have any spare cash laying around this month, please consider throwing some of it towards DC.
If you don't know anything about Donors Choose, I can sum up. It is a charity that allows teachers to get funding for projects in their classrooms that they do not have the budget to get otherwise. The teachers submit requests for funding for specific projects, ranging from small requests that might cost $150 to fund to grand ideas that might cost several thousand. Donors can search on the website to find a project that they would like to fund and then donate money specifically to that teacher and that project.
The beauty of this is that there are all kinds of projects, for all age groups and nearly every state in the country. You want to fund a project in your own backyard or in a rural are or in a big city? You can find one. You think that the lack of sports in elementary school needs to be addressed? You wish there was more music or art in preschool? You want to see teachers make history or physics or literature or astronomy come alive for their students? You can find a project from a teacher who wants to make the same thing happen. You can give a small amount or you can choose to fund the entire project. You get to choose exactly how your money is used, and you get to help kids have a learning experience that they might not otherwise get, and it feels awesome!
My favorite part is that if you close a project or are a major contributor to it, you get an actual in-the-mail thank you package with letters from and photos of the children in the classroom that you helped. Nothing feels better than that.