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The first installment of… GREAT STORIES!

Every month, we send out ten great stories from the previous month to the entire DonorsChoose.org staff. Since these always make our day (okay, our week), we figured we would let our donors and teachers in on the joy. So, here they are, the GREAT STORIES for August! Click on the proposals to bring these great classroom ideas to life. Check back in a month for more!
Texas, “Through a Third Grader’s Eyes” The third graders at this school are plagued by low expectations for their futures. Their teacher wants each student to use the camera she requested for a day at a time, and present his or her photographs to the class. The students’ newfound creativity and responsibility will inspire them to have confidence in their abilities.
Indiana, “Walk Across America!”This proposal gives new meaning to the term “healthy competition”! These second and fourth grade classes will pick interesting cities across the United States that they would like to visit, and see which class can walk to the destinations faster. To track steps and distance, their teacher is requesting a pedometer for each competitor.
South Carolina, “Look, Mom, I’m on TV!”A huge obstacle for these alternative school students is getting and keeping a job. Their teacher’s brilliant solution is to video tape mock job interviews, so that the students can practice their interviewing skills.
Northern California, “Beats for Brilliance”The majority of these first graders are children of immigrants from Asia, Africa and Latin America. Participating in drum and cultural lessons from the students’ native countries will provide a unique opportunity to reinforce self-esteem and involve the students’ families in learning.
Alabama, “Needed: Colorful Carpet for Classroom”DonorsChoose.org often gets requests for classroom carpets, and it’s easy to see why in this proposal. These six-year old students are naturally active learners: they perform best when allowed to leave their desks to gather comfortably and discuss freely. The carpet they have now is small and worn-out – they need a new one!
New York State, “Reaching Across the Generations” (FUNDED!)Most of these fourth graders live at or below the poverty level – but this does not mean they cannot give back to others. During an hour long, monthly visit to a nearby nursing home, each nine year-old will help his or her “elderly buddy” complete craft projects that will decorate the resident’s room.
Chicago, “Solar Energy is the Way To Go!” (FUNDED!)The inspired teacher who submitted this proposal writes, “…finding alternative sources of energy…may be the most urgent problem that my students will face as our society’s future leaders.” His sixth through eighth graders will work in small groups to conduct experiments with Photon Solar Racer Cars. They will then dismantle the car kits and use the photo-voltaic cells and motors to construct, test, and showcase their own solar-powered inventions.
Louisiana, “Future Physicians We Will Need!” (FUNDED!)These students will learn about the human body, and then take medical boards! Their teacher will equip them with lab coats, to experience the transition from medical student to “official” doctor. Each doctor will take on a specialty and work in “clinics” to solve medical mysteries.
North Carolina, “Miss Manners in North Carolina” (FUNDED!)Students with autism eat lunch in their classroom at this school, because the noise in the cafeteria can be overwhelming. Their teacher will create a restaurant setting for her class – the project will give the students a real world simulation, encourage them to self monitor their behavior, and promote peer interaction.
Southern California, “Rewarding and Developing Independent Reading Habits” (FUNDED!)This creative teacher knows how to motivate her second through fifth graders to read. She provides a packet of books to each student, at his or her independent reading level, and a reading log. When the reading log is complete, she lets her students choose a book to keep from the Book Box. Our donors helped her replenish the Book Box!

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