Flotsam is our occasional series of ideas, from other places, that can have impact on education, learners and can support change.
This U.S. based initiative marries the generosity of donors with the needs of an under-resourced public school system in the United States.
Started by a teacher of history in 2000, the project now has heavyweight supporters and has affected the educational lives of some 18 million plus learners. They have ‘mobilised’ over 2 million ‘citizen donors’ to support the work of the project in the intervening years.
Acting as a sort of Kickstarter for a resource hungry education system, vetted schools and teachers can seek supporters through the project web pages for classroom developmental projects. The DonorsChoose team mediate all donations, purchase of resources and their transfer to the school.
Classroom projects are available on-line, with the often quite modest sums needed, and the web site flags those classrooms closest to the finish line, with the least days left to donate or who have the highest povery of resources.
This short film shows how the impact is achieved.
We liked the enthusiasm and detailed focus of the work. It allows donors to precisely target their donation. We can see that it can also build long term relationships with a school or classroom community and provide a range of enhancements and additionality to for children in an under-resourced sector. See more here…
With perhaps a slightly different angle of approach, is there space in the UK for this attraction of modest donations to local classrooms in a professional, mediated way to bring additionality to the British classroom?
We think there might be.