Helping Schools Hit By Sandy
Nov05

Helping Schools Hit By Sandy

Terra Sig’s Post-Sandy Science Drive During the month of October, I had usually participated in a science blog drive to raise funds for public school teachers through a superb, New York-based charitable organization called DonorsChoose.com. For those not familiar, the non-profit was the brainstorm of Charles Best was a Bronx high school history teacher who, like many others, spent a considerable amount of his personal funds on resources and supplies for his students. Best came up with an idea for an online giving site where teachers could match specific projects to parents and other external donors — “where anyone with $5 can become a philanthropist.” The entire story is here but DonorsChoose has been a remarkable success. Many science bloggers became involved with DonorsChoose as far back as 2006 due to the efforts of physical chemist, philosopher, and science ethicist Dr. Janet Stemwedel. While we were at ScienceBlogs.com, Janet corralled the entire network and then other blogging networks into a month-long challenge where we asked our readers to spare a few doubloons for projects we thought would appeal to our audience. Most of us focused on promoting science projects, of course. But I became acutely aware of the poverty of school systems barely 50 miles from where I live (one city had 34% of the population living below the US poverty line, currently defined as an annual income of less that $23,050 for a family of four). Some teachers simply needed pencils and paper for their students. Seriously. How can you get to science education if your school district lacks the funds to purchase basic supplies? You can simply rely on parents who are struggling to merely feed their families. So, I listed many of these efforts together with some of the more creative science projects. Well, Terra Sig readers blew me away the very first month. Although the blog ranked in the bottom 75th percentile of readership, we ranked #1 in dollars given per 1,000 unique visits. Yes, we have quality readers — generous and good-looking. I got tied up with other things this October and didn’t have a dedicated giving page. But various science blogging factions are once again part of a friendly competition called, well, Science Bloggers for Students. While originally intended to finish last week, Janet and other science bloggers like Gerty-Z are extending their drives to focus specifically on supporting projects at schools hit hard by last week’s tremendous storm. Even better is that DonorsChoose is extending their 100% match — yes, your donation has twice the impact! Just enter SCIENCE when prompted for the gift/match code. These blogs at CENtral Science get a...

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