20 Years, 20 Teachers: 2005–2009

This year marks two decades of teachers using DonorsChoose to bring classroom dreams to life. In our “20 Years, 20 Teachers” series, we’ll be featuring one teacher who had their first projects funded in each year of our history. (Read about teachers from 2000–2004, teachers from 2010–2014, and teachers from 2015–2019.)

2005 through 2009 was a time of expansion and growth for DonorsChoose. We began by opening up to teachers in a few cities beyond New York, like Chicago. After Hurricane Katrina, we opened to schools in the Gulf Coast. By 2008, teachers in every public school across the country were able to use our platform to help give their students more. 

Here’s a look at the teachers who joined us during our biggest expansion.

Hands-On Exploration Inspires a Love of Science

Ms. A’s north star is helping her students fall in love with science. Heading into her first year teaching in Chicago, she was ready to bring her students through a world of experimentation and discovery — but when she walked into her classroom, all she saw were some old science textbooks, tables, and chairs. She knew she needed to find another way to put her pedagogy into practice.

In 2005, Ms. A turned to DonorsChoose — for the first of what would be 250 times — to begin building up the hands-on laboratory she knew her students would thrive in. “DonorsChoose has dramatically changed my method of teaching science enabling my students to physically make connections, which will promote life-long learning, critical thinking, and personal growth.”

With the added challenge of teaching multiple grades, Ms. A uses DonorsChoose to target her instruction to the right level. Her kindergarteners can learn about fundamental engineering ideas using a playground engineering kit, while her 7th graders put those same principles to use building a robot.

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