Would YOU Consider Supporting My Donors Choose Project?

In this post, sixth grade classroom teacher Bill Ferriter breaks down and asks for help supporting a classroom project that he can’t find the money to cover on his own.

Let me start with a simple truth:  The learning experiences that resonate the most are those that tap into the inherent desire within my students to make a difference in the world around them.  Causes matter, y’all — especially when working with middle schoolers who are naturally tuned in to issues connected to fairness and justice and who are still convinced that anything is possible as long as we work together.

Whether they are fighting poverty, helping other teens and tweens to understand the amount of sugar in the foods they eat on a daily basis, standing up to bullying, or raising awareness about controversial political issues, my kids are STRAIGHT JAZZED when they realize that THEY have the power to make a difference.

The challenge for me has always been that I work in a tech-limited classroom.

We make do with two desktop computers, my teacher laptop, and an occasional trip to the computer lab.  That often destroys momentum, as students give up on our change efforts because they sometimes have to wait for weeks in order to take their turn to publish content that they’ve created for our powerful projects.

That’s why I’ve decided to create my first Donors Choose project.  My goal is to raise enough money to buy three Chromebooks for my classroom:


With those three Chromebooks, I’ll be able to give more kids access to the web during our weekly “Change the World” meetings.  Whether they are choosing a person in the developing world to support, writing a new entry for our #SUGARKILLS blog, or wrestling with potential solutions to a global challenge as a part of our upcoming 20/20 project, access matters — and three Chromebooks would literally double the access that I can provide in my classroom.

Would you consider supporting me?  Heck — any donations made between now and August 15th will be matched dollar-for-dollar (up to $100) by Donors Choose as long as you use code INSPIRE on the payment page.   That’s a double-your-donation-dollar moment that might just be worth seizing.  

I’m more than a little embarrassed to ask, but I’m also more than a little motivated to leave my kids convinced that THEY can change the world and I just can’t scrape together the money to buy more devices on my own.



Related Radical Reads:

Technology is a Tool, NOT a Learning Outcome

More on Technology is a Tool, NOT a Learning Outcome

Edtech Reflections for Preservice Teachers

Interview with the #SUGARKILLS Gang

My Kids, a Cause and Our Classroom Blog

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  • marsharatzel

    Consider it done

    Going to your page right now.  

    Donor Choose is a good vehicle for many schools.  I always support Jane Fung’s projects too….and with the matching funds, this is a no brainer on the TODO list.


    • billferriter

      Believe me, Pal:  You’ve

      Believe me, Pal:  You’ve already given me more than I could have ever imagined!

      There are few people that I enjoy and respect and admire as much as you.  More importantly, there are few people who have driven my thinking and changed my practice as much as you! 

      Thanks for having my back — but more importantly, thanks for being a friend.

      Hope we cross paths in person this year…..



  • Damian

    I missed the code!

    Bill, I was only too happy to send a couple bucks your way, but I got to your DC page via someone sharing it directly on Facebook, and so didn’t see the code to match donations here on your blog til after I sent it through.  Just wanted to let you know it was a genuine oversight and not a slight.

    Best of luck with the project.

  • Jennie Snyder

    Thank you!


    Thank you for inspiring and empowering your students! We need young people who can make a difference. In my humble opinion, this is the essence of real learning.

    Keep up the good work.


  • DeidraGammill


    What an awesome idea! I love what you’re doing with and for your students and am more than happy to support your project (and share it with others!).

    I wanted you to know that I’ve printed your great article on letting your kids create their own classroom rules and am sharing it with my students in Teacher Academy. We’ll be creating our own classroom rules next week, plus they’ll be learning great strategies for design thinking! I haven’t commented on your posts lately ( or even written anything myself – been overwhelmed with a new class and some new leadership opportunities), but that doesn’t mean I’m not reading and ulitlizing your great stuff. Thanks, as always, for sharing your expertise and your passion with us, Bill. 🙂

    • billferriter

      Hey Deidra,
      Hey Deidra,

      You know that the feeling is mutual, right?

      Your comments ALWAYS push me and always force me to think differently — so I’m as thankful for your support as you are for mine!

      And thanks for sharing this project around — It’s been an amazing weekend, that’s for sure. Lots of good people lent a hand, and for that, I’m eternally grateful! Heck — it blew my mind that once the project filled, ANYONE thought to give me a Donors Choose gift certificate! I didn’t even know that was possible.


      I can’t imagine having extra computers in my room — it’s going to be AMAZING!

      With gratitude,

  • JaneGleason

    The Least I Can Do…

    …is support you and your students as a ‘thank you’ for the support you provided our prospective teachers several years ago.  I continue to follow you, Bill,  and share your observations and thoughts with my graduate students.  Best wishes for a wonderful year with your very fortunate young people!

    • billferriter

      Hey Jane,
      Hey Jane,

      I am SO thankful for your donation, that’s for sure! The gift card that you gave me will go towards buying a few more Chromebooks than I originally planned.

      Honestly, I’ve been humbled by the support people have thrown my way in the last few days. I didn’t expect the FIRST project to get fully funded — let alone to get gift cards that will allow me to fully fund a SECOND project!

      And believe me — I’m ALWAYS willing help with preservice teachers around here. I never feel like I get the chance to make much of a difference here in the Raleigh area — and in a way, that makes me feel sad. Giving back to my community is something that drives me.

      So call again — I’ll definitely say yes!

      Rock on,