Did you know that 87% of teachers in the DonorsChoose.org community work with at least one student with special needs? Every day we get to see the creative, brilliant, and inspiring new ways they come up with to support these students. Thats why, on April 16th, we celebrated these extraordinary teachers and students with a one-day match on all special needs projects.
In one day, nearly 9,000 generous donors supported over 5,000 teachers, giving over half-a-million dollars to their special needs classroom projects. Those dollars went to support everything from sensory lighting for Ms. White's elementary students to art supplies so Ms. Swann's high schoolers could learn about environmental science.
Donors know #EveryKidCan thrive
The comments that donors leave on projects they support are often some of the most inspiring sentences you'll ever read, and these were no exception. Our favorite of the day came from Sarah, a donor from Illinois. She shared her #EveryKidCanStory:
"I have a 35 year old son with Down Syndrome. He had an excellent education in the public schools of the small town in Minnesota where we lived. Today he has a job, friends, responsibilities at home, and is a busy and very able fellow who reads, writes, shops independently, and is hooked on movies. I'd wish this level of happiness for you all!"
The teacher she supported, Mrs. Schaffner, quickly shared her gratitude:
As a teacher, it is important that I show each of my students that I believe in them, and that they have the ability to be successful. In their own way, in their own time, sometimes tiny steps at a time, but they will get to where they are going and leave a lasting impact on the world. This project will help them take those steps, and fuel their learning journey. I am so thankful for complete strangers who believe so much in our students that they reach out and lend a hand with only a thank you in return.
Share your #EveryKidCan story
Every day, teachers like Ms. Cesar use their DonorsChoose.org projects to share stories about their students, stories that any teacher who works with students with special needs will find familiar:
“My students are unlike most children their age. They are extraordinary. They learn in extraordinary ways. They may all be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) but that is not just simply who they are. They are happy. They are engaging. They communicate through various means. They dance. They sing. They tell jokes. They learn through their five senses. That is who my students are. They walk into school each morning with smiles on their faces, ready for the day ahead.” - Ms. Cesar’s Lights, Camera, Action
Whether you’re in a classroom where all students have special needs or you’re thinking about how to get resources for one or a few learners in your general education classroom, this is a chance to tell your story. Check out the #EveryKidCan hashtag on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and share your story to let the world know that teachers are working to make sure every kid can thrive in their classrooms.