We are about to ask you for money to help our students.
What are we asking for?
While donations of any size are welcome, we are asking for donations of $50, $125, $250, and $500 to help us achieve our goal. Every $250 raised supplies a Chromebook for one of our students.
Who are we?
With degrees from Cornell University and the University of Michigan, Jason Brater has close to 20 years of teaching experience predominantly at Redford Thurston High School, a low-income urban public school bordering Detroit. I’ve been teaching US and world history, as well as math to classes ranging in size from 15-40 students and levels ranging from remedial to Advanced Placement.
Technology moves faster than any of us can predict, so we must implement tools that will remain useful and relevant for as long as possible. Google's new $250 Chromebook integrates their entire suite of apps into one device. Chromebooks empower students to guide and own their learning and also put students at the center of a learning experience that resembles a college or career environment. For more details on how Chromebooks work, see this short video.
How do we know this will work?
This is the second round of fundraising on this project. In 2012, we raised $14,000 and with a matching amount from our district we acquired two full sets of Chromebooks. Since that time, we have been increasingly incorporating these Chromebooks as the centerpiece of the learning experience in our classrooms. Implementation of Chromebook-based learning has increased student engagement, decimated behavior issues, and has led to increases in unit assessment scores both for the same class over previous years and same year similar subject classrooms without Chromebooks. For example, this is what 35 tenth grade students learning on Chromebooks sounds like . Want to see what our students do? Here’s some examples of our Chromebook learning modules . So how do we know this will work? Because it is working for us right now, every hour of every school day.
Why at our school?
The vast majority of our students come from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Chromebooks have been proven to help close the achievement gap between affluent and low-income students. It's a natural fit.
For one, it's almost the end of the year and you could use the tax deduction. But beyond that, we simply can't afford to wait. Kids are passing through our system into a professional world for which they are unfit. The better question is: Why NOT now?
We are asking you to stand with us. We know you and we understand that you care about helping people and we understand that you value public education. The only successful changes in education are grassroots changes that happen from within the discipline. We know this because we see it every hour of every day in our classrooms. You can help make some of that change happen. You have the passion and the funds to help us do so and that’s why we are appealing to you for support.
What can you do?
Outfitting a classroom with a full set of Chromebooks (36) and a charging cart costs just over $13,000. This new cart will allow ANOTHER teacher and his or her 160 students to reap the pedagogical and learning benefits of Chromebook-based learning. We are also hoping to purchase screen and keyboard covers for our existing 72 Chromebooks as well as the 36 we hope to obtain through this fundraising effort. But with your help we can do it!
Donate here. Any amount is appreciated. All donations are tax deductible and will be accompanied by a receipt for your tax filing as well as at least one letter of thanks from a student.
You can also make a direct donation by sending a check made out to Thurston High School with “Chromebooks” in the memo line. A direct donation saves us the 9% fee associated with using the gofundme website. Send all direct donations to Jason Brater, Thurston High School, 26255 Schoolcraft Rd, Redford, MI 48239.
Please encourage your friends and colleagues to join us in meeting our goal! The more people involved in our efforts the more quickly we can reach our goal. Social media is a powerful tool for this sort of effort. Please share this document and our challenge on Facebook, Twitter, etc. and harness the power of your network of people to help us.
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