A fifth-grade teacher at Thorpe Gordon Elementary School in Jefferson City was awarded about $ 550 to purchase 50 books for her classroom reading project.
Thanks to DonorsChoose, a non-profit educational organization that connects public school teachers with interested donors, Thorpe Gordon’s teacher TJ Tipton received two donations equivalent to nearly $ 275 – one d one family member and the other from the nonprofit Burch Family Foundation – and USCellular matched those donations.
Statewide, UScellular donated $ 1,878 for eight projects submitted by teachers in Missouri. Nationally, the company donated $ 100,000 to DonorsChoose and reached 50,000 students in 333 schools by matching donations on more than 600 classroom projects. To close the equity gaps, UScellular funds have gone to schools where most students come from low-income households, according to a press release.
Tipton used the money to buy 50 books for her “Picture Book a Day” project where she reads a picture book every day to her students. His goal is to eventually buy 90 more books to make 140, one for each day of the school year.
“The goal of my project is for students to learn that reading can be a lot of fun while cultivating the social and emotional skills they need in life,” Tipton said.
Many of these books come from author Brad Meltzer’s “I Am” series, which highlights historical figures.
“These non-fiction books feature people from all walks of life who are inspiring and face adversity,” Tipton said. “They include lots of text features such as speech bubbles and timelines.”
This daily reading time is a time for students to discover their love for reading, “a foundational skill that students need to be successful academically and as a member of society,” Tipton said.
“This time is so special for our class,” she said. “It only takes 10 minutes. And their faces light up. They look forward to this moment together, reading every day.”