Monday, July 11, 2011

Reaching Out To Joplin Mo. Teachers

May I have a moment of your time?

As the education editor/reporter for, I covered numerous stories about the Joplin School District. In fact, I even took a "Flat Stanley" to Brazil for one classroom at Emerson Elementary - so the students could get a glimpse of a foreign country.

Many, many people I care about in the district have been impacted directly by the May 22, 2011 tornado. One of those principals, Nila Vance, is trying to get the word out on how people can help teachers - not only in her building, but also throughout the district.

For people like me - who want to help people in Joplin, but aren't sure how - well, helping the school district should fit the bill. 

Let's face it, teachers are working really hard this summer to ensure that students have a safe and secure place to come to learn on Wednesday, Aug. 17. (FYI - We have less than 37 days to help teachers prepare for the coming school year.)

For Nila's teachers, it means moving what remains from their building to a different campus in Joplin. (You can read more about the district efforts here:

Numerous teachers throughout the Joplin district everything in their classrooms. Some not only lost their classroom supplies, but also their homes.

I've known Nila since high school. When I asked how to help, she told me several of her teachers posted projects on

"I have nine projects up on the site at my school but I only posted a few," Nila said. "You can go online and search by school and fund any project that tickles your fancy:) I have great teachers at Emerson!"

"The great thing about Donor's Choose is that if you can only give a little, it goes towards a big project."

Nila said several projects were by teachers who lost everything in their classrooms OR were new to Emerson, since new Emerson teachers are not part of the Adopt a Classroom project, sponsored by Bright Futures.

Here are the projects from Nila's school, Emerson Elementary, which will be housed in Duquesne Elementary - Duquesne students will move down the road to Duenweg Elementary. The notes in italic are from Nila, describing the projects.

Many of my teachers lost their guided reading libraries. This project can help fund a library for each teacher at Emerson.

Recovering from Devastation: Becoming Rockstar Readers
This is a new teacher to Emerson. She was impacted by the tornado hitting Emerson but was not a part of the Adopt A Classroom through the district because she wasn't a teacher with Emerson last year at Emerson.

Letter Learning for the Little Survivors of Our Tornado
My Kindergarten and Fifth Grade Classrooms lost everything. This is a first year, first year Emerson teacher and is coming into a classroom that was devastated the most. Again-she is not part of the Adopt a Classroom because she has never taught in Joplin.

Inquiring Minds at Work
Really a Fabulous Teacher! She has taught with me for 5 years and teaches Fifth Grade. She lost everything in the storm. We recovered nothing from her room. Great things should happen to great teachers!

You can find more projects related to Joplin teachers at by searching here.

To find out how you can Adopt A Classroom (help a teacher) click here:

To find out how you can Adopt An Eagle (provide school supplies for students) click here:

1 comment:

  1. Please check out Debby Guardino's effort to support teachers in Joplin. She is a dedicated DonorsChoose classroom teacher from VA. She has organized a huge project. She contacted major educational companies and secured almost $300,000 in teaching materials for Joplin teachers.
    She is in the middle of a 10 day stay in Joplin where she is distributing the classroom materials and conducting workshops on DonorsChoose for the Joplin teachers. You can follow her progress here
    I am honored to consider her a friend.


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