Image courtesy of Donors Choose
Across the country, millions of teachers and students are getting a start on the new school year.
At My Wonderful World, we support teachers in their efforts to bring geography into the classroom and provide rich educational experiences for students. As part of that initiative, we’re teaming up with Donors Choose this fall to create the My Wonderful World Challenge.
Founded in 2001 by a high school teacher in the Bronx, NY, Donors Choose is a non-profit organization that connects teachers in need of materials with those willing to lend a helping hand. The process mirrors their three-phrase mission statement: “Teachers ask. You choose. Students learn.”
Here’s how it works: First, public school teachers submit proposals, via an easy-to-use online-form describing the specifics of their intended project, the materials needed to execute it, and the exact costs. Next, they provide a brief demographic profile of the student community and how the new project will impact it. Once approved by Donors Choose, proposals are placed on the website for public viewing. Donors from across the country search the site and select projects to sponsor, committing full or partial funds.
Donors Choose takes care of all the logistics and purchasing of materials, and donors directly witness the effects of their gifts on teachers and students. A revolutionary concept that maximizes transparency and accountability while minimizing red tape, www.donorschoose.org has been wildly successful.
My Wonderful World with Donors Choose has created a My Wonderful World Challenge. Eligible educators can submit project ideas that creatively integrate geography into the curriculum. We’ve scoured the existing proposals for potential candidates and ideas. Some of our favorite examples include:
“Geography Learning Center."
2) “Get Outta Town."A sixth-grade teacher seeks to incorporate geography, math, and exercise by first researching interesting destinations around the local community, then calculating distances to those places using maps and GPS technology, and finally encouraging students to virtually travel to those places on a stationary exercise bike in the classroom.
3) “Think Globally, Act Locally.” Students from Chicago want to build "earth boxes” with plants to help mitigate their school’s carbon dioxide emissions. A previous project served as inspiration: The city mayor challenged students to create globes depicting ways to reduce impacts on global warming.
Of course, the possibilities are limitless! So, if you are an educator with a great idea for a project involving geography, consider submitting it to the My Wonderful World Challenge. Once you’ve created a proposal on the Donors Choose site and it’s been successfully approved, send a link to the post to Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org. Proposals will be selected based on innovation and engagement of geographic principles –- including helping students better understand the world’s cultures and environments, both close to home and far away. Special consideration will be given to projects that explicitly address state and/or national geography standards. For the rest of the geography enthusiasts out there who aren’t classroom teachers, we hope you’ll join the challenge as a donor. What better way to demonstrate your support for geography education and directly impact students in need!