HISD’s efforts to have students reading at or above grade level by the third grade got a huge boost on March 10, when DonorsChoose.org launched a surprise “flash-funding” campaign to support teachers’ classroom projects.
Hundreds of HISD educators stand to benefit from the #BestSchoolDay campaign, as Houston Rocket Dwight Howard announced his intent to fund every Houston-area, Pre-K-through-grade-2 teacher’s existing DonorsChoose.org request for books or reading materials during an appearance he made on the Stephen Colbert Show Thursday night.
“My teachers made me who I am today,” Howard wrote on his Twitter feed. “In their honor, I’m giving supplies to Houston’s youngest.”
Howard also encouraged others to get involved. “Our little kids need to be able to dream big,” he said. “I know how hard teachers are working in Houston. I’m particularly a big supporter of early childhood literacy, inspired by the work of the incredible Barbara Bush and others, so I want all of the young students in Houston to have the books they need to get a good start.”
Other luminaries involved in the #BestSchoolDay effort include tennis pro Serena Williams, who is supporting schools in Compton, Calif.; actors Ashton Kutcher (Iowa), Gwyneth Paltrow (Santa Monica, Calif.), Samuel L. Jackson (Chattanooga, Tenn.); and Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates.
DonorsChoose.org is a national non-profit organization that lets individuals, groups, and businesses browse through thousands of teachers’ requests for equipment, supplies, or other instructional materials for use in their classrooms, and select which ones they want to fund.
Caring citizens who wish to support HISD schools through the #BestSchoolDay campaign may do so here. Teachers who need more information can find it here.