Teachers, students thank basketball star for providing them with #BestSchoolDay ever

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Thanksgiving isn’t for another eight months, but dozens of Houston-area teachers and their students have been expressing their gratitude recently, after Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard came through on a promise to support literacy.

The professional basketball player pledged to fulfill every Houston-area, Pre-K-through-grade-2 teacher’s existing DonorsChoose.org request for books or reading materials during a “flash-funding” campaign he helped launch on March 10. Almost 50 of those requests have already been funded, including 20 from HISD educators.

Keyana Williams, a teacher at Roosevelt ES, requested 25 tablets for her classroom, at a total cost of just under $2,500. “My scholars come from high-poverty backgrounds, and the majority do not have access to technology at home,” she said. “Using tablets in the classroom will give me a new way to reach students who have difficulty engaging with plain text on paper.”

Nicole Perry, a teacher at Love ES, requested about 15 different sets of audio books, including “Amelia Badelia” and “Where the Wild Things Are,” for a total cost of $963. “These books will help students learn correct pronunciation as well as provide them with a guide to storytelling by listening to a narrator and following along,” she said.

Perry, a first-year teacher who had never used DonorsChoose.org before, added that she was “amazed” at the generosity spurred by the #BestSchoolDay campaign.

“My class jumped for joy when I told them the great news,” she said. “They couldn’t believe a big star like Dwight Howard cared enough to buy them not just books, but books that they enjoy reading time and time again.”

To show your support, please visit www.DonorsChoose.org.