Posted: Thursday, February 5, 2015
The faculty at Alexander Elementary got a pleasant surprise during their faculty meeting with the announcement by fifth grade teacher Damon Qualls, “It is my honor to announce that you have reached a milestone that not many schools achieve. Congratulations on receiving $101,405 in grants for our students from DonorsChoose.org.” They celebrated with fanfare that included a balloon drop, music, confetti, cake, and pizza.
Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose.org, congratulated the school via video. “You are a giant among my colleagues and me in terms of the tremendous number of grants you’ve gotten funded. Congratulations on crossing the $100,000 mark. It is such a tribute and testament to how much you care about your students.” You can access the video using this link.
DonorsChoose.org is an online organization that allows public school teachers to post classroom project requests, which in turn receive funding by donors from across the globe. Mr. Qualls has been a driving force at Alexander, assisting and encouraging teachers to post their classroom needs on the site. Alexander Principal Dr. Sonya Campbell challenged her staff at the beginning of the year to use DonorsChoose.org to fund classroom needs. “Today, we have 95% of staff members who have written grants and 70% of the proposals have been funded,” she said.
The grants can be for anything the school or students need. Alexander Elementary has received funding for books, murals, colored paper, a 3D printer, t-shirts, and hoodies for students. “Our school is 100% poverty, so providing the hoodies has been a blessing for our students,” explained Qualls.
The school is currently requesting funding for a laminating machine, awards and incentives for positive behavior, reading materials to prepare for state tests, and a collection of African-American history books. Visit www.donorschoose.org/damon.qualls for more information.