Learning in Two Languages : Funding Projects for My Classroom – The Love/Hate Challenge

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Funding Projects for My Classroom – The Love/Hate Challenge

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Benjamin Franklin

Thinking of ways to bring technology into my class.
As the beginning of the school year approaches and I get busy preparing for my new group of students, I am again scrambling to find ways to fund projects for my classroom. Thinking about math and how I run it in my classroom (workshop style – just as readers and writers’), and the materials I will need, I cannot help but trying to come up with different ways to fund technology…yes technology!

We live in an era where technology is everywhere. Writing my post using my computer and setting my alarm using my phone are just a couple of examples of how I use and ‘need’ technology. I have to admit it; I have been pretty successful using certain resources to fund basic things for my class such as a laser printer, math games, and a listening center complete with tons of new books. However, that is just not enough. I really wish my students would not need to take turns to use a computer (when the computer is actually working). Honestly, if someone asks me right now for a single wish, it will be iPads.

So, I can type away and complain or use what I already know about bringing needed items to my class. I am going to share what I have done in the past and do all I can this time to try to get what my students need.

1- There are plenty of websites out there designed to help teachers fund projects; however, I do not only like but also feel pretty comfortable working with donorschoose.org. If you have not had time to visit this site yet, you will really love it. They are a well known in the non-profit world and they know their stuff.
Give to Public Schools in Need! - Go to DonorsChoose.org

2- While posting a project may not be difficult; it is up to you to reach as many possible donors as possible. At first, when I just started, I had a really hard time ‘asking’ other people for help. Yet if you really want to get your project funded, you ‘need’ to ask. Start with close friends and family. Reach classroom parents as well, and do not forget the power of social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

3- No idea how to get started? Visit my page on donorschoose.org/lfcsa so you can see what a project looks like. Pay close attention at the titles my projects had and the description – you want to get peoples’ attention and you do not have a second chance to get someone to visit your site and donate.

4- Look for matching and/or funding opportunities. Actually, donorschoose.org has partnered up with many foundations and private companies to fund/match 50% of selected projects. This is HUGE. Why? Because by following certain guidelines, you can guarantee your project is half-way the finish line (I have had a couple of my projects half funded this way).

5- Use promo codes and/or friends and family when available. Every once in a while, donorschoose.org runs certain campaigns where they would match dollar-for-dollar what others donate into your account.

6- Do not despair and most importantly – do NOT give up. It may take some time for your project to get funded, but if you let the word out, it can happen.

I posted a project requesting iPads for my class, and it is still in the ‘pending’ section waiting for approval from donorschoose.org. As soon as it goes live, I will use all I know and can do to get it funded. I will for sure keep you posted.

UPDATE 8/9/13: Donorschoose.org just approved my project and now the project is "live." The work has now begun...donorschoose.org/lfcsa

Have you been successful funding projects for your class? What have you done to get technology into your class?

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