Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Teachers are Unsung Heroes

     Teachers are quite often going into their own pockets to fund the projects that they would like to have done in their own classrooms that there are not in the budget today or any day. What makes her and other teachers who have decided to become involved with donorschoose.org is she decided both her and her students needed an edge to do the special things her classroom deserves. Her story and her triumph is below and you can take your classroom to the next level by checking out the website. She was so serious about the project and helping other teachers, she went door to door in Joplin, Missouri after the devastating tornado in 2011 and convinced many teachers they could rebuild their classrooms by letting potential donors connect themselves to worthwhile teaching projects. 

Roy J. Akers

Teachers Are Unsung Heroes

At DonorsChoose.org, we believe that teachers are unsung heroes.  I want to tell you about one of them.
Debby Guardino is a special education teacher in Chesapeake, Virginia.  Debby became a special needs teacher because her son, Joe, was born with Asperger's Syndrome.  His teachers and doctors said that he would never graduate or be independent. Debby believed otherwise, and Joe proved otherwise.  He now has a masters' degree and this past summer, he got married.

Debby has earned funding for over 60 classroom projects on DonorsChoose.org. One project was for touch screen tablets which have allowed several of her students with cerebral palsy to communicate for the first time.

When Joplin, Missouri was struck by a tornado in May 2011, Debby took matters into her own hands.  She flew to Joplin, on her own dime, of her own volition, and went door-to-door, talking about DonorsChoose.org to any teacher who would listen.  Several of the teachers she spoke to told Debby about Will Norton, a high school senior who was driving back from graduation when he was sucked out of his car by the tornado.  What people said about this young man struck a deep chord with Debby, and she dedicated her mission to him.

Debby inspired more than half of all the teachers in Joplin to post 800 projects, 800 calls for help, for rebuilding Joplin classrooms.  These projects requested playground equipment, classroom furniture, first aid kits and flashlights, therapy resources like knitting needles and yarn, musical instruments, and books.

Five thousand people across the country gave over half a million dollars to fund nearly every Joplin project.  The outpouring of emotion from Joplin teachers and their donors—the messages they posted back and forth to each other, the thank-you notes and photos—was something to behold.

At the re-opening of Joplin schools, teachers greeted Debby with screams of joy. Many of those teachers had received enough supplies through DonorsChoose.org that they were able to rebuild their entire classrooms.

Debby is just one of the unsung heroes using DonorsChoose.org. If you'd like to support Debby and her fellow teachers, take a look at these classroom project requests.