It is well-documented that education funding in the United States leaves much to be desired.
Just this week, my local newspaper ran a front page expose about the deteriorating conditions in some of the local schools.
As the husband of an educator, I know these struggles all too well. My wife is currently a third grade teacher in the town we live in, and while she does not have leaky ceilings and crumbling walls like some of the schools in the above article, she does suffer from a lack of funding if she needs resources for her classroom.
Funding education in the United States is very political. Each state's government is in charge of education funding, and depending on the state, this may further be delegated to individual county school systems. Education-related expenses are where the majority of property tax dollars in my local county go, but without a large increase in taxes, it seems like there are fewer and fewer dollars to go around.
What if the blockchain can change that?
There are various other avenues that teachers may pursue to obtain additional funding for their classrooms, but they are often donation-based and may not be fully funded. Today, I'm hoping to change that. Let's use Steemit to help fund education projects across the United States.
My wife currently has two active projects on a website called Donors Choose. Teachers across the United States may submit project requests to the website and others may choose to donate to the projects, similar to many Crowd-funding websites like Kickstarter or IndieGoGo. DonorsChoose.org is a non-profit organization, so donations are tax-deductible, and often large organizations and celebrities will make donations to specific projects near their deadlines to ensure they receive funding.
My wife has used the website to fund two prior projects, which have allowed her to obtain many helpful items for her classroom.
With this in mind, 100% of the rewards from this post will be used to fund my wife's two active projects on DonorsChoose.org
The liquid SBD will be transferred to an exchange and cashed out, and I will also transfer an amount of STEEM equal to the STEEM Power payout from this post as well. I will then make donations via DonorsChoose with the funds that have been converted from this post's rewards and I'll share the entire process in a future blog for accountability and transparency.
You may also directly transfer STEEM or SBD to my account and I'll earmark it for the transfer once this post pays out.
If you're interested, before you go click the upvote button, let me tell you a little about what your vote will help provide for my wife's classroom.
Project 1: Wiggle While We Work
The first project is for funding to purchase several wobble stools, which are small stools that children may sit on that are not level like a typical chair, but can rotate and pivot based on the child's movements. It allows them to wiggle about while sitting at a desk working on an assignment. Here's an excerpt from the project description:
I cringe whenever I see the media portray classrooms as a room with rows of desks with every child sitting stiff backed in a chair, facing forward, listening to their teacher lecture. While that may be the classroom of the past, that will not be my classroom. With your help, this is what my classroom could be.
Imagine a classroom where kids are engaging with their peers, using their hands, minds and voices to experience learning in a way that makes them look forward coming to school.
These kids are in a classroom that makes them feel welcome and respected. They are given a choice in how they learn. They are not asked to sit still and be quiet all day long. Sitting still is hard! Kids shouldn't have to focus on that when they are in school to focus on learning.
These wobble stools will give kids the opportunity to let out their excitement and energy while they learn. They will improve their posture and core strength. It will be a way I can show them that I care and I want them to feel comfortable in their classroom. Learning doesn't have to happen at a desk. Learning happens when kids can be kids. Let them move! Let them learn.
The full cost of the project is $675 (you can see the itemized costs on the project's description page).
Project 2: Stories That Inspire
Books open doors to fantastic places, especially for children. My wife teaches third grade (8-9 year olds), and she often reads books to them during class time in order to increase their comprehension abilities and open their eyes to the world around them. Here's an excerpt from the project description:
One of my favorite things to do as a teacher, is read to my kids. They sit on the floor in front of my rocking chair and, for 20 minutes, they can all learn together. Most of the day, I differentiate my teaching to meet the needs of each individual learner. But, during those precious 20 minutes, I can reach everyone at the same time.
The stories I read to my students teach them more than just literacy - it teaches them how to be kind, brave, strong and resilient.
I choose books that teach growth mindset - the research proven idea that you are not born with a set level of "smartness". You can grow your brain by choosing hard tasks and perseverance. I choose books that introduce kids to people who have faced adversity and overcome them in order to make a difference in the world.
With your help, I can teach my children to love the magic of reading. Not only that, but you will help me inspire my kids to try new things - challenging things. They will learn the power of YET! You can help me introduce them to inspiring people of history and give them the courage to stand up for what they believe in.
The full cost of this project is $333. You can see a full list of the books that my wife hopes to purchase with the funds from this project on its description page.
The Goal of this Post
Your vote on this post will help purchase these stools and books for my wife's classroom. Right now, almost half of the required funds have been given by other donors. At the time of this post, Project 1 still needs $334, and Project 2 still needs $208. I believe that we could easily fund both projects with votes from across Steemit, and I also believe that this is just the beginning.
In the future, I plan to have a blog series dedicated to funding a project from DonorsChoose.org, whether it is one from my wife's classroom or not, I believe we can show teachers in the United States the power of the STEEM Blockchain. I plan to link to the posts in the comment I can make with the donation so that the teachers will know where the donations came from.
I know there are many educators present across the Steemit platform. The efforts of initiatives like @steemiteducation have helped propel education-related topics to the forefront. I hope that other teachers will be able to use the STEEM blockchain to fund projects for their classrooms, and I believe donating through DonorsChoose is a great way to keep the donations transparent and honest.
Once again, I am planning to donate all of the rewards from this post (SBD and an equal amount of STEEM to the SP payout) directly to the two projects described above. Let's use our stakes in the platform to directly impact the education of students across America!
If you have any questions about the project or the process, please let me know. Thank you in advance for your generosity and kindness toward this initiative. I value education, and I want children to have the best resources possible. My wife is a fantastic educator, so I hope you'll help support her classroom!
*I will also accept direct SBD and STEEM transfers to my account. I'll add that to the total, and it will get transferred as one lump sum once this post pays out.