You can help kids improve reading skills at Forest Home Avenue School via a Donors Choose campaign.
You can help kids improve reading skills at Forest Home Avenue School via a Donors Choose campaign.

Help give the gift of education

Today is Giving Tuesday and thus I'm re-sharing this post from December 2013 about how you can use Donors Choose to help out a local public school. The only changes have been to update links and remove some information that is now past its sell-by date ...

Tis the season for opening your hearts and helping out around town. One way you can do that is to help a teacher in a classroom. I don’t mean in person – though you can do that at many schools, of course.

Instead, consider doing something like donating materials to a classroom at your child’s school, your neighborhood school or a school to which you feel some sort of connection (you went there, your mom went there, etc.).

At our school, for example, teachers have placed giving tree items on classroom doors. Parents can pluck a post-it and return it with the item listed on it. In many schools, budget line items for things like supplies have been swallowed up by lines that help make sure there are sufficient adults working in the building. So, classrooms can use some help with supplies.

If you’d like a suggestion for a school, I’m always happy to offer one. Email me.

Otherwise, DonorsChoose.org always has great ways to give. There are many projects that teachers in Milwaukee Public Schools are trying to fund. For example, Forest Home Avenue School (which my mom and her grandmother attended) second grade teacher Angela Bohr was (when I first posted this) trying to raise about $300 to support materials to help boost the reading skills of the kids that are in her Tier 2 Response to Intervention (RTI) group. These are kids who are struggling and need intensive instruction to make progress.

"We have a daily, 45-minute Tier 2 time where I work with nine students that are in my Tier 2 group," said Bohr. "My students are loving and come to school to learn. They have had traumatic events happen to them which has caused many of them to have academic delays. My school serves students Pre-K-5th grade with over 800 students. We are a neighborhood school. My students eat breakfast and lunch here at school. The teachers provide many school supplies and snacks for their students.

"Two of my students can't read at all and struggle with phonics sounds. All nine of them struggle with phonics and I need activities they can do on their level. These materials will help them gain the knowledge they need to recognize those vowel sounds so that they can read."

Mrs. Bohr doesn't have any projects posted at the moment, but you can donate to another Forest Home Avenue School classroom project here.

Or you can donate to MPS's Mitten Tree Drive, by bringing new hats, scarves, gloves and mittens – store-bought or home-made – to MPS' Central Services building, 5225 W. Vliet St., during normal business hours, through Jan. 6.

The items will be distributed to students in need in MPS schools, the Head Start program, the Homeless Education Program and Community Assessment Training Program students.

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