Making Better Journalists: A Thank You Note

Good GOD, people, I thought it would take all week to get this handled. I barely had time to eat lunch and you’d polished off both student newspaper projects! Nearly $400 in about six hours. Nice job.

Be sure to read the comment thread to the original post for input from the teachers involved, as well as some suggestions from them for other projects to give to if we’d, you know, slammed this one shut before you got a chance to contribute.

Teacher Dave, who posted one of the projects, also sent alonga note to all the donors:

Thank you all so much for your considerable generosity! Your donation
will go a long way toward ensuring the continued success of these
students, the continued emphasis on the importance of effective
local-level journalism, and the continued improvement of the engagement
of the whole school in a thoughtful forum.

Many of those who
donated to this project did so on the request of a web journalist,
which underscores the importance of having thoughtful people in charge
of our ever-changing media environment. Journalism does have the
potential to encourage its readership to make both good and bad
decisions. In this case – and hopefully, in the case of my student
journalists – the advice and outcome were both positive.

I will
look forward to sharing with my students the way in which several
engaged media consumers banded together to support a noble cause. Thank
you for being providing a model of the goodness & greatness that
journalist citizens can promote.

I wouldn’t propose this stuff if I didn’t think you were the kind of people who’d see an opportunity to do good and jump on it. The world is full of misery and there’s too much for any one person to conquer all at once, and damn it sometimes you just feel like a spectator at a huge smoking fire burning down everything important to you. All we have is our own two hands and in the face of that it’s not enough, but this is how we repair things, by doing the job in front of us, and that ripples outward until we can’t see the edges of it anymore.

Everybody who gave, everybody who lent words of encouragement, everybody who spread the word, you did good today. You’ll do more tomorrow. I’m sure of it.


4 thoughts on “Making Better Journalists: A Thank You Note

  1. It just goes to show you that there are lots of people out here who really, really want to make things better. Give us something we can do while eating Cheetos in our mother’s basement, and we’re all over it.
    Srsly, tho, A., thanks for pointing the way to this place. I’ve forwarded the info on DonorsChoose to a lot of friends (some of whom are, I hope, in a position to do more than I can right now), and I expect there’ll be a few more projects that make it. A drop in the bucket, but that’s better than a dry bucket…

  2. I’m trying something new for me: I wrote an email to about a dozen of the people I have addresses for, who I think might enjoy joining us in donating through the DonorsChoose website, asking them to participate. I really like that website, and I especially like how it felt to participate yesterday.

  3. A,
    By the time I got there the listed items were all covered, so I mucked around and found some other things that I thought were worth funding in the arts and music (sorry, no journamalism this go-round). But I like this setup (though I worry about the insecure link to PayPal).

  4. I have already gotten feedback from my email, saying she would forward it to her contacts. If anyone else wants to try this, here is what I wrote:
    How many times have you said, “I would like to do something to help
    our schools, but I’m not Bill Gates, so what can I do that would make
    a difference?” Well, Bill and Melinda Gates have found a way to
    answer your question.
    zone=0 is a website where you can pick and chose among hundreds of
    “little” school problems, where your $10 can make a big difference.
    This week, one of my favorite blogs,
    featured a post asking its regular readers to help fix just a couple
    of the “little” problems by donating a few dollars, and the Bill and
    Melinda Gates Foundation would match every penny we would donate.
    Within just a couple of hours both projects were fully funded, by a
    few of us, and more of the readers of that blog began looking for
    other similar projects to help with.
    If you, like me, believe that our schools are our future, please
    visit and
    search out a couple of the small projects that you can believe in,
    and donate to them. Then encourage your friends to donate with you,
    and a few more troubled schools will be able to move forward.
    Believe me it is a great feeling to do this.

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