Money’s tight. So, teachers are looking to other resources outside of district coffers to get the classroom tools and supplies they need to effectively educate our Delavan-Darien students.
New Turtle Creek Elementary music teacher Katie Campbell recently got a helping hand from an anonymous donor and U.S. Cellular for some musical instruments and other supplies she sought to keep her classes engaging and fun.
In early September, Campbell made a post on the online giving site DonorsChoose.org, a website where public school teachers post classroom project requests. Donors can decide which project or projects to fund. When the project reaches its goal, the site ships the materials to the teacher.
Donors receive photos of the project taking place and a breakdown of how every dollar was spent. Their donation is also tax deductible.
Campbell had sought more than $700 in musical instruments (drums and shakers) and performance extras. She reached her goal about a month after making the post.
“I couldn’t help but yell out a ‘whoo hoo, my project was funded,” Campbell said of learning the news that she would get her items soon. “I was grinning from ear to ear… I was like a kid in a candy store. It is so exciting to have new supplies for your classroom and knowing what they will do for my students is even more exciting.”
Here’s what Campbell wrote on her DonorsChoose.org proposal that led to her successful quest:
“I refuse to only sing, sing, sing as a music teacher. Singing is an important piece and I use it but that’s just it; it’s a piece. My students rarely sit still. I keep them motivated, moving and physically manipulating music! I think it’s important in this day and age to keep children moving!
“My students will use these items daily. Scarves and shakers have been a staple of my music teaching for the past 5-7 years. They get kids moving and feeling creative on their own! They don’t need many prompts from me when they have a scarf in their hand. Students are motivated to be responsible when everyone has the opportunity to play all at once. Drums will also be used regularly but mainly in the upper grades as they work on form and composition. Drums are a great building block for these activities and are again, motivating!
“My students will be thrilled to have their hands on these new items! It’s an opportunity to move and interact in a way different from the traditional classroom. I get to offer something unique and your gift of these items will certainly allow me to do just that. I will be able to continue my methods of teaching success with the items that you will gift to my classroom. I love to play with these items as much as my students and it allows me to join them on the floor and feel free and be the example.”
Way to go, Ms. Campbell!