Urban School Foundation blogger here, again. Hello blogee! I’ve got some local news for you today. In the past few blog posts we’ve been launching our discussions on education reform, touching on the hot button issues and ideas of how to shape our educational system for the needs of the future. It’s a problem at a national level, and all seems a bit daunting. But don’t be discouraged! There are small things you can do on the local level to help out our students and teachers in need.
A recent article by Lisa Pevtzow highlights an issue that schools and teachers face every day: there’s not enough money for supplies.
“If you have $400 to spend and it’s either books for the classroom or a recess cart, you get the books,” said Joseph Hailpern, principal of Edison School in north suburban Morton Grove. A photograph of a red shopping cart overflowing with balls and hula hoops figures prominently on a DonorsChoose page for the school. The caption reads: “Recess Cart in Need of TLC, No More Shopping Carts!”
Did you know in 2010, 92 percent of United States teachers spent a collective sum of $1.3 billion out of pocket for school supplies. How much is one billion? To put it into perspective, one billion seconds ago was the Cuban Missile Crisis and prior to our moon landing. A billion minutes ago the Roman Empire was in full swing. If these analogies aren’t helping, suffice it to know that some teachers spend over $1000 of their own earnings in order to do their job and teach our kids. Take Teresa Jazo as an example.
“When Teresa Jazo, a music teacher at Bateman Elementary School in Chicago, ran out of her school-allotted supply of paper in October, she bought more with her own money. Then, she went online to DonorsChoose.org, an Internet-based educational charity outfitting many of the nation’s classrooms, and asked the worldwide Internet community to buy her enough for the rest of the year. ‘Can we learn new music?” Jazo posted. “Sorry we have no paper!’ Within a week, she had her paper.”
DonorsChoose.org is a great way to get involved, or check out the great stuff we’re up to! Urban School foundation is working closely with Chicago schools to supply the homeless and low income students in our city and suburban schools. Learn more about what we’re doing, and consider donating a backpack full of supplies to a student in need. Click here for more information.