The Smoke Signal

‘We should give back’

PV sophomore discusses the need for the community to help students in need

Ellie Kim, Staff Writer

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Pine Forest High School in North Carolina lacks enough funds to provide their students with science materials. They are without sufficient calculators, folders, batteries, and can not even afford a poster of the periodic table.

Pine Forest High School is only one of many underfunded schools, yet here at Pascack Valley, we are extremely fortunate to be able to have access to more than enough supplies. Various schools do not have enough funding and struggle to receive even the most basic necessities for academic success. As a community, we should work to give what we can to those who need it and make a difference in ensuring equal education. In an effort to provide these schools with more resources and opportunities, many institutions, such as the Donors Choose Organization, were created.

Among the various organizations dedicated to helping students, the Donors Choose Organization is unique in the way that it is ran. It is committed to “connecting the public to public schools” by donating to students from kindergarten to 12th grade The organization is run by former teachers who are dedicated to the cause and have helped around 600,000 classrooms raise over $740,963,775.

The organization was started by a history teacher from the Bronx named Charles Best. Although teachers here at PV annually spend an average of $264, it is still a considerably smaller amount than what many other public school teachers spend. The average public school teacher spends around $480 to $1,000 of their own money on classroom supplies each year. After realizing that more people would choose to help if only they knew where their money was going, Best created the Donors Choose Organization.

On their website, the organization provides the public with opportunities to donate to schools across the country. People wanting to donate are able to read about and choose exactly which school or class they donate money to. Additionally, donors are able to know exactly what the money is being used for.

Many teachers ask for money in order to buy their students folders, calculators, or new classroom rugs. The organization purchases and ships the requested items directly to the schools. Donors also receive thank you messages and pictures of the students that they helped.

The organization has also received the attention of celebrities, such as Yvette Nicole Brown, who was featured on “The Late Night Show with Stephen Colbert.” Furthermore, the news show “Good Morning America” featured many of the teachers’ stories. A variety of companies, including Verizon and the Charles Schwab Foundation, have helped classrooms raise money. These corporations donate $2 for every donation made by the public. The help of these companies allow more classrooms to receive what they asked for, yet many are still in need of more funding.

As such a privileged and fortunate school, we should give back in an effort to ensure equal education across the country. Donations as small as $1 can make a difference. If our school and community comes together in an effort to help students in need, we will be able to make an immense impact in their lives. You can make the choice to become a donor for a cause that makes a difference.

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‘We should give back’