While many people have heard of DonorChoose.org, very few know the back story. The organization was started by Charles Best, a high school history teacher who worked in public schools in the Bronx. Charles wanted the students in his class to read the book Little House on the Prairie. Like many teachers across the country, he was making photocopies of the book so each of his students would have a chance to read it. It was while making these copies that he started thinking about his fellow educators and how they all had one big thing in common: a huge need for resources, but very limited budgets.
However, Charles didn’t stop thinking. Instead, he began to wonder if there was a way in which people could fund teachers’ supplies, activities, and projects. Maybe if people could actually “see” where their money was going, they’d be more willing to contribute. Then, he had the idea to create a website to make this happen. That’s how DonorsChoose was born. The organization started out with only 11 requests posted to the site (all by Charles’ friends and colleagues). Now, DonorsChoose is open to every public school in the U.S., funding classroom projects that fully enrich students and take their learning experiences to the next level.
And Now PTA Just Received a Set of the Same Books
Imagine my delight when a full set of the book Little House on the Prairie was donated to Pass the Apple by a 4th grade teacher I work with. This is a timeless story that is not only a fun read for students, but also teaches them about the importance of good values, compassion, and even independence. The latter being very important as we have the power to change the world for the better if we stand up to the challenge. This process starts by noticing where flaws exist and having courage to take positive action.
Like Charles, my journey to create Pass the Apple truly started when I realized teachers like me all over the country were dealing with limited budgets and spending their own money to fund items for their classrooms. I felt like there had to be a way to make things easier and more financially feasible. Then, the idea for Pass the Apple came to me and since our launch, we’ve remained dedicated to our mission:
Helping teachers around the country get the educational materials they need for the improvement of public school education and the support of educators.
We’ve also created a partnership with DonorsChoose.org called The Giving Tree. Much like the famous book title suggests, we want to give back as much as possible to our fellow educators because we understand their struggles and are committed to being a source of continued support.