I have been meaning to write this post for more than a month now but I kept leaving something behind as I traveled. One of the great things about being home for a while is I am reminding myself of all those things I’ve been meaning to do and while I don’t have time to cross everything off the list, sharing this if going to take a priority today.
See, last August as things first reached the boiling point in Ferguson, I wondered what could be done to help that community move forward. While I realized part of it was telling my version of the story, I wanted to do something more tangible. That’s when I found a Donor’s Choose project that could help students in that school district and having met some teachers from the area, that sounded perfect.
The idea of providing technology (Chromebooks/computers to be exact) to a class so they can extend their learning beyond the text books grabbed my imagination.
Over the months, the project and classroom frequently came to mind, but in early February such vivid reminders showed up in my mailbox…. I got letters from the students!
I will admit it is nice to hear the words “thank you” (especially when it comes as “thanks for caring about our school and our education” because that nails it!) but what I really love in the letters is how the students explained the difference the Chromebooks made. So some of their comments? I had to share:
- “We use our Chromebooks for many things like our projects in science and social studies.”
- “since we got these computers, it has made work so much easier…. so much more fun”
- “we don’t like to look in our book for answers all day”
- “I can find the answers I need faster because I can type it in instead of spending 10 minutes trying to find”
- “not just for us but for many others”
- “The Chromebooks helped me in my education by giving me an extra resource.”
- “gives us advantage in education by letting us learn new, different things so you can apply it to your schoolwork”
- “This is an advantage for us because another class can go to the computer lab and it is less frustrating for Mrs. Simmons” (Note from JP: I can see my sister’s students saying the same thing!)
- “projects are easier and we have a possibility of getting better grades”
- “we work in groups when we use our Chromebooks so we can make friends”
- “it has made my whole class energetic and happy”
As I wrote this, I heard coverage from the 50th anniversary of crossing the bridge to Selma. One of the quotes I heard really seems to apply, I paraphrase…. Others walked so we can run, we run so our children can soar. Something like helping a classroom extend beyond the walls may be commonplace in some parts of our communities, but there are lots of great students who need a chance to be energetic and happy…. to soar into the future.
What have you done recently to help kids in your community soar?